On Monday, South African Rugby confirmed the tragic passing of former Springbok lock Hannes Strydom in a car accident. Strydom, who played 21 Tests between 1993 and 1997, was a pharmacist by trade and was known for his hard work and dedication to the sport.
The news of Strydom’s death marked the fifth player from South Africa’s victorious 1995 World Cup team to pass away, following Kitch Christie (coach), Ruben Kruger (flanker), Joost van der Westhuizen (scrumhalf), Chester Williams (wing), and James Small (wing).
Strydom began his international career in 1993 and went on to play in several memorable matches, including the 1995 Rugby World Cup final where South Africa famously defeated New Zealand 15-12. The home side celebrated this victory with Nelson Mandela watching from the stands at Ellis Park.
South African Rugby president Mark Alexander paid tribute to Strydom in a statement, saying: “To lose yet another member of the iconic Bok squad from 1995 is a heavy blow to the rugby fraternity here in South Africa.” Alexander praised Strydom as a hard-working lock who never shied away from getting stuck in and doing the dirty work.
Strydom’s loss marked a significant moment for South African rugby as he was one of several key players who helped lead their team to victory in the 2023 tournament. As they celebrated their record fourth World Cup title by beating New Zealand 12-11, fans around the world remembered Strydom as an integral part of South Africa’s historic squad.