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Former South Africa international and 1995 World Cup winner Chester Williams has died at the age of 49.
Williams played 27 Tests for the Springboks between 1993 and 2000, scoring 14 tries.
The prior wing was was the only black player in the World Cup-winning team that defeated opponents New Zealand 15-12 in South Africa 24 years back.
“Chester has been a true pioneer in South African rugby,” stated Mark Alexander, the president of SA Rugby.
“His performances in the World Cup in 1995, as a snapshot of his Springbok career, will forever be etched into the hearts and minds of our rugby public.
“The news of Chester’s death is catastrophic and hard to believe, as he was still young and seemingly in good health”
Williams also played for Western Province in the Currie Cup.
Williams had the Mothers of Super Rugby spells training the Springbok Sevens group and the Pumas at South Africa since retiring as a player in 2001.
Alexander added:”He was passionate about rugby and South Africa and as trainer, at various degrees, selflessly gave back to the game after he wrapped up his boots. He has been a beacon of light in the South African context and in his area and played with courage.
“Chester Williams had so much more to provide. Our thoughts and condolences are with his wife, Maria, his children, family and friends during this very sad time.”
South Africa has now lost four members of its iconic World Cup team.
Williams’ departure comes only two months later fellow winger James Small died of a heart attack aged 50.
A couple of years back Joost van der Westhuizen expired after motor neurone disease whilst flanker Ruben Kruger died from cancer in 2010.
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