Small was famed for keeping rampant Jonah Lomu at bay when South Africa won the World Cup final in Johannesburg, a historic moment for the country just a year after the end of white-minority apartheid rule.
Tributes for Small have poured in from all over the sports world and society at large. Our deepest sympathies go out to the family, friends and the Springboks'.
SA Rugby president Mark Alexander said he will have a "special place" in their "hearts and mind", adding: "James died too young, we're devastated to hear of his passing". Joost van der Westhuizen died after a battle with motor neuron disease in February of 2017.
Small made his debut against the All Blacks in 1992 and in his final Test in 1997, he scored his 20th try to break Dane Gerber's record. On social media, South Africans sports icons like Herschelle Gibbs, Ryk Neethling and Kobus Wiese paid their respects to Small.