Former Springbok lock Hannes Stridom has tragically died in a car accident, according to reports in South Africa.

The 58-year-old, who was part of the Boks team that won the 1995 Rugby World Cup, died on Sunday night following an accident in Mpumalanga. His close friend and former teammate Kobus Wiese confirmed the tragedy to South African media, saying the late star collided with a taxi.

Strydom won 21 caps for South Africa between 1993 and 1997 and started the iconic 1995 final alongside Wiese in the second row.

He began his senior career with the province in 1986 before moving to Northern Transvaal, now the Bulls, two years later. However, he played most of his club rugby for Transvaal, now Golden Lions, where he made 115 appearances between 1993 and 2000.

Off the field, Stridom worked as a pharmacist in Pretoria and founded the pharmacy chain Pharma Valu after hanging up his football boots. His death occurred nine years after he was admitted to intensive care after suffering a fractured skull and stab wounds while defending six people during an attempted carjacking.

Confirming the death to Strydom News24 on Monday morning, Wiese said: “Yes, it is. The information is very vague at the moment, but I know it happened somewhere in Mpumalanga. He and another person were in the car that collided with the taxi. “That’s what we know now.”

Strydom’s wife Nikoli also told Red24 that the accident occurred on the N4 before eMalahleni towards Pretoria on Sunday night.

His former club the Lions released a statement after confirming his death, which said: “It is with great sadness that we have learned of the passing of our Lions and Springbok legend Hannes Strydom. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this time. May his soul rest in peace.”

Sadly, Strydom is the fifth player from the 1995 World Cup winning team to die. Teammates Chester Williams and James Small died of heart attacks in 2019, and Ruben Kruger died in 2010 after battling brain cancer. Joost van der Westhuizen died in 2017 after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease, while coach Kitch Christie died in 1998.