RUGBY: Bath's Louw expected back before end of the season

Wiltshire Times: Francois Louw is expected back before the end of the season Francois Louw is expected back before the end of the season

BATH expect to have Francois Louw back before the end of season after revealing the South African flanker does not need an operation on his injured ankle.

Louw limped out of this side's victory at London Irish a fortnight ago and the club had to wait for the swelling on the ankle to subside before discovering the extent of the injury.

But head coach Mike Ford said today that Louw did not need surgery and hopes to have the back row man back for the end of the regular season and, hopefully, the Aviva Premiership play-offs.

"Flouw doesn't need an operation, so he'll be back before the end of the season,'' said Ford.

Samoan back row Alafoti Fa’osiliva is also expected back before the end of the campaign as he recovers from a knee injury, while hooker Rob Webber and centre Jonathan Joseph are pencilled in for comebacks in the Aviva Premiership clash against Worcester later this month.

"Alafoti (knee) looks like he'll be back soon which is good because we thought he'd be out for the season,' added Ford.

"(For) JJ and Rob Webber, we are looking at Gloucester or probably Worcester, to be honest.'

Ford revealed Bath have sought clarification after the controversial end to their 12-11 defeat against Sale last Friday.

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The home side were left baffled by referee Dean Richards' decision to award seven successive penalties and no penalty try from scrums close to the Sale line, the Sharks also losing Bath-bound prop Henry Thomas to the sin-bin.

"We've asked for an explanation of events from the referees - what sequence of events must we go through before something happens, whether it's a penalty try, or two people in the bin because we have to make decisions,'' said Ford, whose side face Brive in Sunday's Amlin Challenge Cup quarter final at the Rec (2pm).

"If we know we were never going to get a penalty try in that situation we might have gone to the corner, because there is no point staying there when you are losing.

"So we need to know what it is because clearly seven penalties on the bump, we just need to get clarification on it.

"That's not the reason we lost the game. We lost the game because we should have had control before the scrums.''

MORE BATH RUGBY NEWS AT WILTSHIRETIMES.CO.UK/SPORT, PLUS A PREVIEW OF THIS WEEKEND'S AMLIN CHALLENGE CUP QUARTER FINAL IN FRIDAY'S WILTSHIRE TIMES

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