Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text WILTS TIMES to 80360 or email us
RUGBY: Returning Louw aiming to make impact
12:00pm Thursday 18th October 2012 in Sport
FRANCOIS Louw’s international exploits have denied him a meaningful role in Bath Rugby’s early season skirmishes but the flanker is back now and insists there is much work still to be done.
The 27-year-old completed pre-season with his Aviva Premiership teammates and played the full 80 minutes in their narrow opening-day win over Worcester.
But the former Stormer was then a surprise call-up to the South African squad for the Australasian leg of the Rugby Championship.
And after impressing off the bench against Australia in his first outing, Louw was given a starting berth for the last three games of the tournament, scoring a try in the Springboks’ 31-8 revenge win over the Wallabies in Pretoria.
Meanwhile Bath have stuttered somewhat on the domestic front, only winning two of the five games that Louw has missed to put them down in seventh in the table.
But after a resounding 40-17 win in Romania last weekend against Bucuresti, a game that Louw was an unused replacement for, the flanker will be back in the thick of the action on Thursday against Agen.
And Louw insists that the Amlin Challenge Cup remains a priority for Bath this season as they bid to return to Europe’s top table.
“We are going for this competition at pretty much 100 per cent,” he said.
“It’s an opportunity for us to get back into Europe but more than that we have spoken as a club this year about taking every single game we play seriously, of representing Bath to the best of our abilities whether that’s in Europe, the Premiership or the A-League.
“I did 10 weeks of pre-season with the guys and things have only changed a little bit since then so it hasn’t taken very long for me to readjust.
“I need some game time to be really back in the flow but that will come.
”I of course kept up with all of Bath’s results while I was away and our form has been a bit disappointing, we didn’t win some of the games we had targeted.
“It’s a new coaching set-up and it was always going to take time but there remains quite a bit of work for us to do.
“We are still not quite where we want to be as a team, there remains a lot of work still to be done and that is borne out by our results.”
Tonight’s clash in France against Agen will be Louw’s first return to competitive action for Bath since the start of September and the 27-year-old, who will captain the side, insists he is already itching to get back into the thick of it.
“Now we’re all looking forward to this weekend and from a personal point of view to be starting will be great,” he added.
“I’ve settled back in quite nicely, I went with the boys to Bucharest last week and although I did not get on the pitch it felt good to be back involved and we played really well.
“Agen are a pretty solid side who have won a few games at the start of the Top 14 season already so we know it will be a tough place to go to.
“It will be a big challenge, but one that we are looking forward to. They’ve got some big strong ball carriers so we need to be up for the fight.”
Aviva are proud to be title sponsor of Aviva Premiership Rugby - one of the world's leading rugby union competitions. Each season will feature 135 games, which will be watched by 1.7 million people live at the grounds and many more through our broadcast partners Sky, ITV and ESPN - visit www.premiershiprugby.com
NEWS FROM TONIGHT'S CLASH IN AGEN AT WILTSHIRETIMES.CO.UK/SPORT TOMORROW MORNING AND MORE BATH RUGBY NEWS, PLUS STEVE OJOMOH'S WEEKLY RUGBY COLUMN IN FRIDAY'S WILTSHIRE TIMES
Comments are closed on this article.