A shocked Springbok squad woke up Saturday morning to the
news of the passing of Chester Williams.
A shocked Springbok squad woke up Saturday morning to the news of the passing of Chester Williams.
The squad is in the land of the rising sun, where they are preparing for their Rugby World Cup journey that kicks off in less than 2 weeks.
In a statement released by SA Rugby, Director of rugby Rassie Erasmus says there was a very sombre mood amongst the squad during their breakfast.
Williams died suddenly after suffering a heart attack at the age of 49 in Cape Town on Friday.
Mark Alexander, President of SA Rugby, reacted with shock and disbelief to the news od Williams' passing. "The news of Chester's passing is devastating and hard to believe, as he was still young and seemingly in good health," said Alexander.
Williams was part of the team that won the Rugby World Cup in 1995 and was since involved in coaching.
“I played with Chester and many of our management knew him well and we are all in shock this morning. Many of our players were too young to remember the 1995 Rugby World Cup final, but they have grown up watching highlights of the final and of Chester and know him as a rugby player who became an icon for our country,” says Erasmus.
He adds the team management still chatted to Williams over the past week about his plans to come to the tournament and about tickets for Rugby World Cup matches.
“It will take us some time to get over this shock,” adds Erasmus.
He has described it as a sad day for South Africa and South African rugby.
“Our thoughts and prayers right now are particularly with the family that Chester has left behind, with Maria and the children. We have lost a legend, they have lost a husband and father. It’s probably no comfort to them now, but I am sure that Chester’s name will go down with the greats of South African rugby as a player and for what he stood for in our country’s history.”
The Springboks will travel from Kumagaya to a new training base in Kagashima later today.
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