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Mthethwa remembers rugby legend James Small as 'one of the greatest'

Small was part of the team that lifted South Africa's first Rugby World Cup trophy 24 years ago.

James Small. Picture: Twitter/@Springboks

CAPE TOWN - Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa has learned with shock passing away of legendary Springbok rugby player James Small on Wednesday.

The 50-year-old had been rushed to hospital in Johannesburg. He was part of the team that lifted South Africa's first Rugby World Cup trophy 24 years ago.

Mthethwa, who is currently Liverpool in support of the Spar Netball Proteas, said: “James Small was not just a legend but one of those great players which their names will be written in our history of sports. He was one of those who were instrumental alongside the class of 95 in fostering social cohesion and nation-building.

"We would never forget the role that the 1995 Springboks rugby team played in breaking down the racial boundaries and making us one nation with one objective. This class of 95 inclusive of James Small, stood alongside our former statesman ‘Tata’ Nelson Mandela and demonstrated the importance of sport in eradicating racism and discrimination."

Small started wearing the Springboks shirt in 1992 leading him to play in the home soil Rugby World Cup back in 1995.

His passing on follows on the footsteps of Ruben Kruger and Joost van der Westhuizen who passed on in 2010 and 2017 respectively.

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