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Former South Africa 1995 World Cup winner Chester Williams and international has died at age 49.
Williams played 27 Tests for the Springboks between 1993 and 2000, scoring 14 attempts.
The prior wing was was the only black player in the World Cup-winning team that conquered opponents New Zealand 15-12 in South Africa 24 decades ago.
“Chester has been a genuine leader in South African rugby,” said Mark Alexanderthe president of SA Rugby.
“His performances in the World Cup in 1995, as a picture of his Springbok livelihood, will forever be etched into the hearts and minds of the rugby public.
“The information of Chester’s passing is catastrophic and hard to trust, since he was still young and seemingly in good health.”
Williams played for Western Province in the Currie Cup.
Since retiring as a player in 2001, Williams had spells training the Springbok Sevens group, Super Rugby’s Cats and the Pumas in South Africa.
Alexander added:”He was passionate about rugby and South Africa and as trainer, at different degrees, selflessly gave back into the game after he wrapped up his boots. He played with courage and has been a beacon of light into the wider South African context and in his community.
“Chester Williams had so much more to give. Our thoughts and condolences are with his wife, Maria, his kids, friends and family during this very sad time.”
South Africa has lost four members of its own iconic World Cup team.
Williams’ departure comes only two months later fellow winger James Small died of a heart attack.
A couple of years back scrum-half Joost van der Westhuizen died after combating motor neurone disease whilst flanker Ruben Kruger died in 2010 from brain cancer.
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