South African rugby player Hannes Strydom killed in accident - fifth member of World Cup-winning team to die

World Cup-winning South African rugby player Hannes Strydom has died in a car crash aged 58.

Strydom was part of the Springboks team that lifted the World Cup after defeating New Zealand in the final in 1995.

The victory, which came a year after the end of apartheid in South Africa, was immortalised in the 2009 Hollywood movie Invictus.

Strydrom, who played as a second-row, has been described as "one of the great locks of his generation" after he was killed in the crash on Sunday evening.

He is the fifth member of the Springboks team which began that 15-12 victory over the All Blacks at Ellis Park in Johannesburg to have died.

Ruben Kruger died aged 39 in 2010 of brain cancer; Joost van der Westhuizen died aged 45 in 2017 of motor neurone disease; James Small died aged 50 in 2019 of a heart attack; Chester Williams died the same year aged 49 of a heart attack. Williams was the only black player on the winning squad in 1995.

Strydom won 21 Test caps between 1993 and 1997.

His international career included facing the British and Irish Lions in 1997, a series which ended in a 2-1 defeat for the Springboks.

South African Rugby Union president Mark Alexander said in a statement: "Hannes was one of the great locks of his generation and as a member of the Springbok squad from 1995, one of the heroes of our local game.

"To lose yet another member of the iconic Bok squad from 1995 is a heavy blow to the rugby fraternity here in South Africa and our thoughts and condolences are with his wife, Nikolie, their children, Annalie, Hannes and Lucy, family and friends in this very difficult time."

The Golden Lions, the rugby union club Strydom played for in South Africa, has also paid tribute to him.

Lions chief executive Rudolf Straeuli, another member of South Africa's 1995 World Cup squad, said: "We are deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Hannes.

"We share a tight bond as members of the 1995 group and to lose yet another one of our brothers is a big blow."