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sad news Former Ulster and South Africa star rugby player Pedrie Wannenburg dies in car crash

Wannenburg represented Ulster 54 times from 2010 to 2012

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Pedrie Wannenburg is tackled by Sean O'Brien during his time playing for Ulster. Picture: Sportsfile

Pedrie Wannenburg is tackled by Sean O'Brien during his time playing for Ulster. Picture: Sportsfile

Pedrie Wannenburg is tackled by Sean O'Brien during his time playing for Ulster. Picture: Sportsfile

Former Ulster and Springboks back row Pedrie Wannenburg has died at the age of 41 after a multi-vehicle car accident in Texas on Friday evening.

The South African, who was a coach with Major League Rugby side Austin Elite, was killed when his car was struck by a vehicle involved in a high-speed police chase, according to US website Khou.com.

Wannenburg’s wife Evette and daughter Isabelle were not seriously hurt, but their son has been flown to hospital for surgery, their report continued.

Wannenburg represented Ulster 54 times from 2010 to 2012 and was part of the team that reached the final of the Heineken Cup in 2012.

Stephen Ferris, who played alongside Wannenburg at Ulster, wrote on Twitter: “Extremely sad news to wake up to this morning.

“Pedrie was a legend of the game and one of the nicest guys you could ever meet. Thoughts are with his wife Evette and his young kids.”

Former Golden Lions coach Eugene Eloff wrote on Facebook: "I am shattered.. have no words. Just heard that my friend Pedrie Wannenburg passed away in a car accident. His family was in the car with him.

"Devastating news RIP wonderful man..

“You will be missed so much. My heart goes out to Evett and the kids. Keeping you in my heart and prayers.”

Prior to playing for Ulster, Wannenburg won three Super Rugby titles and five Currie Cups with the Bulls from 2001 to 2010, while also winning 20 caps for the Springboks, before moving to Belfast where he became a fan favourite.

After leaving Ulster in 2012, the Nelspruit native spent four years in France with Castres and Oyonnax, before moving to the US where he transitioned into coaching with Austin in 2019.

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