Coetzee: Why Louw is an example to other players

Tue, 26 Sep 2017 05:41

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Springbok coach Allister Coetzee believes Francois Louw's experience and leadership will be a valuable asset against the Wallabies and the All Blacks over the next two weeks. 

Louw, who plays for Bath in England, was called up to the squad for the Boks' final two clashes of this year's Rugby Championship after flank Jaco Kriel was ruled out of action for six months.

Kriel sustained a severe shoulder injury in the Rugby Championship Test against Australia in Perth on September 9, which ended in a 23-all draw.

Last week before Louw was called up to the Bok squad, the 32-year-old had expressed reservations about playing for the Springboks again - suggesting his loyalty may be with Bath.

However, for Coetzee, Louw's loyalty remains with the Boks.

"He [Louw] has been here and done it before and now at least he is just not fitter and stronger, but he is also one of those players, who wants to play for South Africa," said Coetzee. 

"He wants to play and he is a guy that phones after a Test and he is excited about the new culture in the team. He finds out those small things that might not seem to be important.

"It is very important to see where the overseas-based players' loyalties are at this point in time and I can say without any fear that Francois Louw still wants to be a Springbok and he wants to play for the Springboks."

Coetzee believes Louw will be a perfect replacement for Kriel in the Boks' back row. 

"Francois Louw has come back fully fit," said Coetzee. "He has come through a magnificent pre-season. He is stronger than before and he has had three good games for Bath and he has played well, he is ready to play Test match rugby. 

"I've got no doubt that without Jaco Kriel there, that is a kind of player that would add value to our turnaround strategy for the last two games.

"He brings what we are probably lacking in Jaco Kriel [absence] -t playing towards the ball and making sure that we contest on the ground and not giving teams that quick ball. 

"Siya [Kolisi] played really well as an opensider at the beginning of the season, but I could see the difference when Jaco joined up with Siya like almost in tandem. They worked flippen hard on the ground and we saw the benefits from that, so Francois will add massive value and also in terms of his leadership."

By Warren Fortune

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