Former Bok lock and class of 1995 alumnus Hannes Strydom dies in tragic car accident
Former Springbok lock Hannes Strydom was killed in a car accident on Sunday night. He was 58.
The victorious Springbok Rugby World Cup class of 1995 lost another member this week with the tragic news that Hannes Strydom was killed in a car accident on Sunday night.
Strydom is now the fifth member of South Africa’s first-ever World Cup-winning team to pass on after Ruben Kruger, Joost van der Westhuizen, Chester Williams and James Small. Coach of the 1995 Boks Kitch Christie, has also passed away.
Strydom’s wife Nikolie confirmed to News24 that Strydom had died in an accident on the N4 close to Emalahleni in the direction of Pretoria.
The towering lock formed a formidable second row with Transvaal (as the Lions were then known) and the Boks with Kobus Wiese.
Strydom played in 21 Tests and 10 Bok touring matches between 1993 and 1997. Apart from helping the Springboks to win the Webb Ellis Cup for the first time, he also played against the British & Irish Lions in 1997.
He was also a key member of the brilliant Transvaal (Lions) teams when they won the Super 10, Currie Cup and Vodacom Cup in the 1990s. He started his provincial journey with Eastern Province and the Bulls, finishing his career with more than 150 provincial appearances.
Strydom was so highly rated by coach Kitch Christie that Mark Andrews, one of the Boks’ most decorated locks, was asked to play No 8 in the semifinal and final of RWC 1995 with Strydom starting both matches.
Read more in Daily Maverick: RWC 1995 – When rugby went pro
After his playing days, Strydom was a successful businessman who owned a chain of pharmacies.
“Hannes was one of the great locks of his generation and as a member of the Springbok squad from 1995, one of the heroes of our local game,” said SA Rugby president Mark Alexander.
“He also played more than 100 games for the Lions at a time when they dominated the game in South Africa and won the Super 10 before it became Super Rugby, which underlined the quality of that team.
“Hannes, along with other players from that Lions team, such as Francois Pienaar, Balie Swart, Wiese, and Hennie le Roux, formed the core of the famous Bok squad that lifted the Webb Ellis Cup in South Africa in 1995.
“He was a hard-working lock who never shied away from getting stuck in and doing the dirty work. To lose yet another member of the iconic Bok squad from 1995 is a heavy blow to the rugby fraternity here in South Africa.
“Our thoughts and condolences are with his wife, Nikolie, their children, Annalie, Hannes and Lucy, family and friends in this very difficult time.” DM