FORMER Springbok and Natal Sharks’ controversial winger James Small died late last night.

Vaugn Small, James’ mum, confirmed the death to Netwerk24.

He died at a hospital in Bedfordview, east of Johannesburg. Details are still sketchy at this stage. 

Considered one of Rugby’s “Bad Boys”, Small made his international debut for SA against the All Blacks in 1992.

He retired from the national team in a match against Scotland in 1997. Small was born in Cape Town in 1969 and he also played for Western Province. 

His career was marred by his verbal abuse of others on the rugby field…and he became the first Springbok ever to be sent off, as a result of dissent towards a referee.

He once told a South African sports journalists that: “the next time I want to see your name is in the obituaries”.