Hannes Strydom, a former Springbok lock, has tragically passed away in a car accident, South African Rugby confirmed on Monday. He was the fifth player from the victorious 1995 World Cup team to pass away. Strydom, who was 58 years old, played 21 tests between 1993 and 1997 and was a pharmacist by trade. He started in the 1995 final where the home side defeated New Zealand 15-12 to take the crown in front of Nelson Mandela at Ellis Park.
SA Rugby president Mark Alexander described Strydom as a hard-working lock who never shied away from getting stuck in and doing the dirty work. He also mentioned the heavy blow that Strydom’s passing has had on the rugby fraternity in South Africa, as the loss of another member of the iconic Bok squad from 1995.
Kitch Christie, who coached the team to their title win, passed away from cancer in 1998. Flanker Ruben Kruger died in 2010, and scrumhalf Joost van der Westhuizen succumbed to motor neurone disease in 2017. The wings Chester Williams and James Small both suffered fatal heart attacks within two months of each other in 2019. The passing of Strydom adds to the heartbreak felt by the rugby community in South Africa.