SA rugby legend James Small has died, Twitter pays its respects

james small springboks twitter 2

Former South African rugby player, James Small, has died.

Small, who was among the 1995 Rugby World Cup-winning squad, reportedly suffered a heart attack, according to a report from Netwerk24 (paywall).

The news, which broke around 2pm on Wednesday afternoon on the Afrikaans publication, rattled through Twitter. And within the hour, #RIPJamesSmall began trending on the social network, with users remembering Small’s legacy fondly.

The Springboks official account led the sentiment.

Former SA cricketer Hershelle Gibbs called the news “really sad”. “RIP Big Man,” he added.

Referee Jonathan Kaplan noted that Small was “Not the easiest oke to ref on the field but one of the kindest off it.”

“Amazing self belief and always keen to challenge, its probably what made him special,” he added.

Others added their thoughts too.

Small played 47 test matches for the Springboks between 1992 and 1997, and wore a number of provincial sides’ colours, including Western Province and Transvaal.

Small’s death comes two years after Joost van der Westerhuizen lost his fight with motor neuron disease, it also comes just hours after another South African legend, actress Nomhle Nkonyeni, died. She was 77.

Feature image: screenshot, Springboks (@Springboks) via Twitter

Andy Walker
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