’Small died too young’ - SA Rugby

'Small died too young’ - SA Rugby

SA Rugby has paid tribute to the late former Springbok winger James Small. 

James Small

Small, who was a member of the 1995 Rugby World Cup winning squad, died suddenly from a heart attack in a Johannesburg hospital. 


The 50-year-old Small was rushed to hospital in Johannesburg on Tuesday night after suffering from a suspected heart attack.

ALSO READ: [LISTEN] Jean de Villiers: Small's passing a massive loss


SA Rugby President Mark Alexander says Small will always have a special place in the hearts of South African rugby supporters. 


“He always played with the type of passion and courage that encapsulate what Springbok rugby stands for, and he lived his life in the same way.


“At 50 years old, James Small died too young. Our thoughts and condolences are with his family and friends during this very sad time.”


Small made his debut for the Springboks against New Zealand in Johannesburg in 1992 and played in 47 Tests until 1997. He scored 20 Test tries, with the last of those in his final match in the Green and Gold, against Scotland – a try which, at that stage, broke Danie Gerber's Test record.

ALSO READ: [WATCH] James Small tackles Jonah Lomu


In total, Small donned the Green and Gold 60 times, scoring 27 tries. He played Tests against New Zealand, Australia, Western Samoa, Fiji, France, Italy, Romania, England, Scotland, Argentina and the British & Irish Lions.


In his provincial career, Small played for the Golden Lions (then Transvaal), Sharks (then Natal) and Western Province, appearing in Currie Cup finals for all three sides and lifting the coveted golden cup in the colours of the Sharks and WP, but never with the Golden Lions.

ALSO READ: Former Springbok winger James Small passes away


Small is the fourth member of the Springbok squad from 1995 to pass away, after Kitch Christie (coach), Ruben Kruger (flank) and Joost van der Westhuizen (scrumhalf).

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