Hero Kruger is mourned in Cayman

Cayman’s rugby community,
especially those from South Africa, are still mourning the death last week of
the legendary flanker Ruben Kruger.

South African Kruger died following
a long battle with brain cancer.

The ex-Cheetahs and Bulls forward
was first diagnosed with the illness during the early 2000s at the end of a
successful career that saw him earn 36 Springbok caps, while he was also one of
the stars of the 1995 World Cup-winning team.

Kruger, who was just two months
short of his 40th birthday, made his debut against Argentina in Buenos Aires
during 1993 and was named South African Rugby Player of the Year in the same
year that the country lifted the William Webb Ellis trophy.

Cayman resident Michael S Levitt
said: “I knew Ruben pretty well because we went to the same school in South
Africa, Grey College, Bloemfontein.

“Although he was a lot younger than
me we had a strong old boys’ network and he used to attend lots of functions.

“I went to a lot of games at the
1995 World Cup and he was one of the great players of that side. The most
famous try he scored was probably the one in the semi-finals that got South
Africa to the final.

“He had brain cancer for many years
but never gave up and was always very positive. It’s a tragic loss, he was a
monster player.”

“Ruben Kruger was the epitome
of the Springbok flanker, tough, indomitable and with an outstanding work
ethic,” said Oregan Hoskins, president of the South African Rugby Union.

“When Ruben was on the field
you always knew that the Springboks would not be beaten without a tremendous

“Our prayers
have been with him through his battle against illness and it is very sad to
hear of his early passing. Our thoughts are with his young family and we extend
to them our

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