Former Springbok scrum-half and captain Joost van der Westhuizen was rushed to hospital in a critical condition on Saturday.
The 45-year-old was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease in 2011 and it was recently reported in the South African media that he has been using an oxygen tank at times to help him breathe.
The news of his latest setback was confirmed by his J9 Foundation via a statement on their Facebook page on Saturday which said: “The family and friends of Joost ask that you all pray for Joost. He was taken to hospital earlier today and is in a critical condition.
“We ask that you all please respect the family’s time at the moment. When we have updates we will let you know for now we ask that we all bow our heads in prayer.”
Van der Westhuizen is rated as one of the game’s finest ever scrum-halves. He represented South Africa in 89 Tests and scored 38 tries.