06/02/2017 08:04 SAST | Updated 06/02/2017 11:44 SAST

Joost Van Der Westhuizen Fighting For His Life In ICU

Rugby champion Joost van der Westhuizen was admitted to hospital with organ failure as a result of a disease he was diagnosed with six years ago.

Will Burgess / Reuters

Former Springbok scrum half and captain Joost van der Westhuizen is fighting for his life in hospital after being admitted on Saturday, The Times reported. The 45-year-old is on life support after his key organs began to fail late on Friday as a result of the effects of motor neuron disease, which he was diagnosed with six years ago.

The J9 foundation, the organisation Van der Westhuizen helped establish to fight the disease, told the Times that he "remains in ICU in a critical but stable condition [...] He is responding well to his loved ones and putting up an incredible fight. He really is our Superman!".

Joost is renowned as one of the world's greatest scrum halves and was a 1995 Rugby World Cup winner. He has been captain of the Springboks 10 times and earned 89 Test caps and scored 38 Test tries. Bryan Habana broke his record at the 2011 Rugby World Cup.