Friends and family have gathered at the Wanderers in Johannesburg for the funeral of late Springbok player, James Small. The funeral service is set to start at 14h00.

Gavin Houlston, Small’s brother in law, and family spokesperson, says, “He’s my brother and we’ve spent … I’m going to miss long lunches and deep rugby discussions and … it’s really is too much to mention. A very kind hearted, a very deep thinking man that holds a very special place in all of our hearts. And I think if I can talk on behalf of the family, its devastating, it’s difficult to try and put into words what he meant to us. And it’s going to be hard to move on without him.”

The 1995 Rugby World Cup winner 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, Ruby, 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.– additional reporting by AFP