Published: Fri, July 12, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

South African legend James Small dies of suspected heart attack

South African legend James Small dies of suspected heart attack

Former Springbok James Small passed away on Wednesday after having a heart attack.

Small was famed for keeping rampant Jonah Lomu at bay when South Africa won the World Cup final in Johannesburg, a historic moment for the country just a year after the end of white-minority apartheid rule. Loose forward Ruben Kruger died from brain cancer in 2010 and scrumhalf Joost van der Westhuizen from motor neuron disease in 2017.

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The former Springbok no 14 was reported to be in Cape Town and on his way to Johannesburg where he lived with his 14-year-old daughter. The former Stormers, Sharks and Lions wing represented his country in 47 Tests and played his last global in 1997.

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He played 47 tests for the Springboks between 1992 and 1997 and scored 20 tries in total. At the provincial level, he played for the Lions, Sharks and Western Province.

His playing career was not without controversy.

The former wing earned a reputation as a tearaway during his time in a Springbok shirt - he was renowned for his outspoken nature and became the first South African to be sent off in a Test match after arguing with a referee.

Meanwhile, fellow World Cup-winner Chester Williams accused Small of racial abuse while the pair were teammates. "You know you can't play it".

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