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Monday, 20 November 2023 10:49

1995 Springbok World Cup hero Hannes Strydom dies in car accident.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

Former Springbok and Lions lock Hannes Strydom today, and with the Vodacom Cup in May 1999. Photo Credit: Gallo Images.

The Lions Rugby Company has confirmed the passing of World Cup-winning lock Hannes Strydom, who died in a car accident on Sunday.

"Lions has learnt with great sadness the passing of former Lions and Springbok lock Hannes Strydom," the franchise said in a statement.

The franchise CEO Rudolf Straeuli expressed his condolences, on behalf of the franchise to the Strydom family.

The 58-year-old was part of the Springbok team that won the historic 1995 World Cup against the All Blacks at Ellis Park.

It is understood that he died in a car crash on the N4 before eMalahleni in the direction of Pretoria on Sunday evening.

The former Springbok lock, Kobus Wiese, who was also part of the 1995 team, described Strydom's passing as tragic.

"It is very tragic news, the passing of a fellow teammate and friend. It is a very big loss. I had the privilege of playing with him for the Lions and for South Africa.

"He was a real teammate, somebody who was a pleasure to work with, a pleasure to know as a teammate, and had a lot of success on the field as a fellow lock.

"These things are always untimely. It is a sad day for a whole group of players," said Wiese.

He said Strydom was proud of the team for winning the World Cup for the fourth time in France.

"Obviously, winning a World Cup is what every player trains for and sacrifices for years. Very few men had the privilege and opportunity of winning a World Cup.

"Hannes and I were privileged to be part of the squad that could do that at home in 1995.

"So I know exactly what they felt when they lifted the Web Ellis trophy for the fourth time. It is special, and it will always be special," he said.

Outside rugby, Strydom worked as a pharmacist in the capital, Pretoria, and started pharmacy chain Pharma Valu after hanging up his boots.

In 2014, he suffered a cracked skull and stab wounds after six people attacked him in a carjacking, landing him in intensive care.

He is the fifth player from the 1995 Springbok team to have died.

The others include Ruben Kruger in 2010, Joost van der Westhuizen in 2017, and Chester Williams and James Small in 2019. Coach Kitch Christie also died in 1998.