Scottish Rugby honoured to host Joost

Scottish Rugby is honoured to announce today that we will host one of world rugby’s iconic personalities during the viagogo Autumn Tests.

Joost van der Westhuizen is a name synonymous with greatness, power and courage, with 89 Springbok caps and 38 test tries, plus a 1995 World Cup winners medal to his credit.  

Joost’s warrior-like attitude on the pitch now resonates in his life after rugby, following the unfortunate diagnosis of Motor Neurone Disease in April 2011. At that time, he was given 20% chance of living a further two years. Three years on, his courage has shone through as he continues to raise awareness of the condition.

 The J9 foundation has been set up in his name, a charity which looks to highlight the neurological disorder and support the families of those diagnosed with MND.

 Joost will attend the Scotland v South Africa match at Murrayfield (Sunday 17 November) with Euan MacDonald MBE, a fellow MND sufferer who along with father Donald, set up the Euan MacDonald Centre for Motor Neurone Disease research at Edinburgh University.

 Scotland and British Lions centre Scott Hastings, who lined-up against Joost during their playing careers, and is now patron of MND Scotland, has been instrumental in many of the arrangements for Joost’s visit, including a fun sports quiz at Murrayfield Stadium on Friday 15 November. You can see more details on that at www.joostasportsquiz.com 

Dominic McKay, Director of Commercial Operations, Communications and Public Affairs for Scottish Rugby, expressed his delight at the return of the Springbok 1999 World Cup captain to Murrayfield. He said:

“Joost is a global icon for his feats both on and off the pitch. Following an illustrious career in the green and gold of South Africa, his defiance against his life-threatening illness is an example to us all.  We at Scottish Rugby are delighted to welcome him back to Murrayfield – where he played for South Africa when the stadium was re-opened in 1994, an occasion he marked with two tries -  as guest of honour, to watch what should be an exciting match between Scotland and his home nation”.

You can watch one of Joost's tries from 1994 here 

More information on the J9 foundation at: http://www.joost.co.za/

Notes to editors

You can buy tickets for the Scotland v South Africa match at Murrayfield on Sunday 17 November at www.scottishrugby.org or on the 24 hour credit card hotline number 0844 335 3933. Tickets are also available for Scotland’s two other viagogo Autumn Tests – v Japan on Saturday 9 November and v Australia on Saturday 23 November.