Bok legend James Small dies of suspected heart attack | Cape Times

Ruben Hill
July 10, 2019

"We suspect it was a heart attack but it hasn't been confirmed yet", his mother said.

Small was influential in keeping the rampant Jonah Lomu, who had scored four tries in the All Blacks' semi-final win against England, at bay when the Springboks won their first World Cup in Johannesburg in 1995, a year after the end of Apartheid.

'He always played with the type of passion and courage that encapsulate what Springbok rugby stands for, and he lived his life in the same way.

He is survived by his 14-year-old daughter Ruby. "Our thoughts and condolences are with his family and friends during this very sad time".

His worldwide debut was against the All Blacks in 1992 and he made his final appearance against Scotland in 1997.

Small, the so-called bad boy of rugby, made his Test debut for the Springboks in 1992 against New Zealand. His try, at that stage, broke Danie Gerber's Test record. He represented Lions (formerly Transvaal), Sharks and Western Province at provincial level.

Small had worked as a coach before his death, assisting Robert du Preez at NWU-Pukke and the Leopards.

Ruben Kruger died of brain cancer in 2010, while Joost van Der Westhuizen died of motor neuron disease in 2017. Christie passed away in 1998 as a result of his prolonged battled with leukaemia.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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