He is lauded by some as possibly the greatest scrum-half of all time, but South Africa legend Joost van der Westhuizen admits he spends every day "on his deathbed" as motor neurone disease ravages his body.
The 42-year-old will be remembered by many for this iconic tackle on New Zealand man-mountain Jonah Lomu during the 1995 World Cup final victory that marked the Springboks' return to world sport.
An unusually-physical player for a scrum-half, Van der Westhuizen's clever reading of the game and no-holds-barred defence meant he was the best player in his position of the era, and possibly ever.
But, at the age of 40, he started suffering problems with his speech and muscle power. After seeking specialist advice, he was diagnosed with Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a form of motor neurone disease that is usually fatal.
Two years on and Van der Westhuizen is confined to a wheelchair, and – having been given two-to-five years to live – expects each day to be his last.
"I realise every day could be my last," he told BBC Sport. "It's been a rollercoaster from day one and I know I'm on a deathbed from now on.
"I've had my highs and I have had my lows, but no more. I'm a firm believer that there's a bigger purpose in my life and I am very positive, very happy."
The highs and lows he refers to could not be more stark in contrast.
With post-apartheid South Africa back in world sport after the lifting of international sanctions, he helped the Springboks to World Cup victory in front of their new president, Nelson Mandela.
Until retiring in 2003, Van der Westhuizen went on to win 89 caps for his country, which remained a record until the 2007 World Cup. And, remarkably for a scrum half, he also held the record for number of Test tries scored by a Springbok (38) until Bryan Habana broke it in 2011.
His life post-rugby had its ups and downs.
"I led my life at a hundred miles an hour," he added. “I've learned that there are too many things that we take for granted in life and it's only when you lose them that you realise what it is all about."
That recklessness saw him lose his job as a TV commentator and his marriage to singer Amor Vittone after a 2009 sex-and-drugs scandal.
"What I did went against all my principles - my life was controlled by my mind and I had to make my mistakes to realise what life is all about.
"But I know that God is alive in my life and with experience you do learn. I can now talk openly about the mistakes I made because I know my faith won't give up and it won't diminish."
Now Van der Westhuizen devotes his life to his J9 Foundation, which raises awareness about his disease.
But he still retains his sense of humour. As renowned as his tackle on Lomu was, the one blot on Van der Westhuizen's career was the lack of a series win over the British and Irish Lions.
Their narrow 1997 series loss included a famous error by Van der Westhuizen, when he was among four players who fell for a Matt Dawson dummy that allowed the England scrum-half to score a late winning try in the first Test.
"Everyone still talks to me about that tackle on Jonah Lomu in the 1995 World Cup final. But every time people mention it, I have to remind them about how I fell for Matt Dawson's dummy in 1997."