Francois Louw’s future at Bath Rugby seems anything but clear, with the club admitting they’ve yet to make a decision on the Springbok openside.
Reports today from Sommerset Live say that the club appear to be lukewarm over ‘Flo’ a player billed as one of the most expensive in their squad.
Louw’s involvement with the Springboks over both the June Tests and the Rugby Championship will not have helped his case with the club as long-term option either.
“We haven’t made a definitive decision, but we’re certainly in discussions about that. There’s quite a lot to weigh up.”
“This is my last year at the club, and I’m not too sure what the future holds. It will be something we have to consider quite closely. We’ve had a fantastic time at Bath so far. We’ve been very settled, and it’s been awesome to play here.
“We’ll see what happens. There’s nothing on the table just yet.”
Last year the flanker said he was torn between Bath and the Springboks. Increasingly the Boks have looked upon 6’3, 110kg openside as, if not first choice, than a reliable reinforcement to call upon when needed.
Premiership sides like Bath are obliged to release players during International windows, though players in similar positions often have understandings with their club sides that they will not return for national duty.
This however does not always play out, especially as the Rugby World Cup approaches. Wasps’ relationship with Willie Le Roux was put under strain in recent weeks when the Springboks recalled him to their Rugby Championship squad, despite him signing with the Premiership side on the understanding that a recall was unlikely.
Wasps headcoach Dai Young told RugbyPass last week: “This could be Willie’s last season with Wasps but there is an option for another year and we will have a sit-down and talk about what he wants to do after the World Cup in Japan.
“I want to make it clear that no one broke any trust or created any animosity. We didn’t know how many games he was going to play and the situation was something we had not planned for.
“Rassie wasn’t going to be ringing me up and saying “this is my team for next week” and why should he, which meant there was an unknown factor and Willie didn’t know if he would be involved for two, four or six games.
“We had no real direct contact with South Africa and it was through the player. The reality of it is that Willie thought his international career was over but there was a change of regime and Rassie made it clear he wanted him back in. That was something we hadn’t accounted for because we didn’t expect him to be playing in the Rugby Championship or involved in the November tour by the Springboks.”
Originally from Cape Town, Springbok Louw joined Bath Rugby in 2011.
Louw is the Grandson of former South Africa international Jan Pickard. The flanker played his club rugby in South Africa with the Western Province and the Stormers in Super Rugby. Louw made his debut at the Millennium Stadium against Wales in June 2010 and went on to figure in the Tri-Nations. Louw has some try-scoring prowess, memorably touching down in his first Test on home soil, at his home ground Newlands.
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