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Tributes flood in for Joost van der Westhuizen

Sports Mole rounds up some of the tributes paid to South African rugby legend Joost van der Westhuizen following his death at the age of 45.

The rugby world was united in mourning upon the news that one of its greatest ever players - Joost van der Westhuizen - had passed away at the age of just 45 earlier today.

The former South Africa scrum-half and captain established himself as one of the finest exponents of the position in rugby history during a 10-year international career.

Van der Westhuizen was the most capped Springbok in history when he retired in 2003 having appeared 89 times for his country, scoring 38 tries in the process.

In 2011, the World Cup winner was diagnosed with motor neurone disease and, after a long battle, he passed away today having been taken to hospital over the weekend.

Here, Sports Mole rounds up some of the tributes paid to the legendary number nine from around the rugby world and beyond.

"Joost will be remembered as one of the greatest Springboks - not only of his generation, but of all time.

"He also became an inspiration and hero to many fellow sufferers of this terrible disease as well as to those unaffected. We all marvelled at his bravery, his fortitude and his uncomplaining acceptance of this terrible burden." - South Africa rugby president Mark Alexander

"Our thoughts are with the friends and family of Joost van der Westhuizen, who has sadly passed away at the age of 45..." - England Rugby

"Rugby has lost a true warrior today - Joost van der Westhuizen - 1995 World Cup Final - Titanic Individual Performance. Rest in Peace. - World Cup-winning former England international Will Greenwood

"RIP Joost. Thoughts and prayers with his family and friends." - Former South African cricketer Jacques Kallis

I'm absolutely gutted! One of my heroes growing up! #RIPJoost 😰 - South African-born cricketer Kevin Pietersen

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Former Springbok scrumhalf, Joost van der Westhuizen, who is suffering from Motor Neurone Disease joins the spectators during the International match between Scotland and South Africa at Murrayfield Stadium on November 17, 2013
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Joost van der Westhuizen dies, aged 45

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