1995 Rugby World Cup winner, wing James Small, has passed away at the age of 50. He was reportedly on his way from Cape Town to Johannesburg when he suffered a heart attack.

He lived in the Mother City with his 14-year-old daughter, Rugby, where he owned a restaurant.

Small played 47 test matches for South Africa and also played for the old Transvaal who later became the Lions, the Natal Sharks and Western Province.

He was the leading try scorer in the 1996 Super 12 season.

Small is the third member of the 1995 Springbok team to have died. Flank Ruben Kruger died from brain tumor in 2010 and scrumhalf Joost van der Westhuizen from motor neurone disease in 2017.

‘ We were devastated to hear of his passing’

A statement from SA Rugby said Small had been rushed to hospital Johannesburg on Tuesday night. Mark Alexander, president of SA rugby, said Small would “always have a special place in the hearts and minds of the South African public”.

“We were devastated to hear of his passing,” he added. “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.

“At 50 years old, James Small died too young.” – Additional reporting by AFP