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4 August 2014, 9:27am

Louw retains place in Springbok squad

Talismanic Bath Rugby flanker, Francois Louw, has retained his place in the South Africa squad for the forthcoming Castle Lager Rugby Championship, which kicks-off on Saturday 16th August.

Australia host New Zealand in Sydney and the Springboks take on Argentina at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria (kick-off at 17h00).

"We've been steadily improving over the past two years but another step-up is needed this season," said Springbok Head Coach Heyneke Meyer.

"It's been a theme for us since the start of the season and we must simply keep on accelerating in the coming two months. We've set ourselves some goals for the Castle Lager Rugby Championship and we'll have to be focused and switched on from the moment we get together in Johannesburg.

"Winning matches and scoring tries remain foremost in our minds. During the four matches in June, we scored 23 tries, which we were very happy with. I think we can be proud of the rugby we played against Wales and Scotland, but that is in the past now and we have a new competition to get ready for.

"There are many good things we can build on from the June series, but also some things we need to work on if we're going to be competitive in the coming months. It's a challenge we relish though and I can't wait to get going."

Injured players who were not available for selection after featuring in 2013 or earlier in 2014, are Flip van der Merwe (knee), Pieter-Steph du Toit (knee), Arno Botha (knee), Pierre Spies (bicep), Fourie du Preez (ankle) and Jaque Fourie (ankle).

Springbok squad for the Castle Lager Rugby Championship 2014:

Willem Alberts
Bakkies Botha
Schalk Brits
Marcell Coetzee
Damian De Allende
Lodewyk de Jager
Jean de Villiers (captain)
Bismarck du Plessis
Jannie du Plessis
Eben Etzebeth
Bryan Habana
Cornal Hendricks
Francois Hougaard
Patrick Lambie
Willie le Roux
Francois Louw
Frans Malherbe
Victor Matfield
Teboho "Oupa" Mohoje
Tendai Mtawarira
Lwazi Mvovo
Trevor Nyakane
Ruan Pienaar
Handré Pollard
Cobus Reinach
Jan Serfontein
Gurthrö Steenkamp
Morné Steyn
Adriaan Strauss
Duane Vermeulen

The full Castle Lager Rugby Championship schedule for 2014 is (SA kick-off times):

Round 1 – 16th August
12:05: Australia v New Zealand (ANZ Stadium, Sydney)
17:05: Springboks v Argentina (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria)

Round 2 – 23rd August
09:35: New Zealand v Australia (Eden Park, Auckland)
21:40 (16:40 local time): Argentina v Springboks (Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena, Salta)

Round 3 – 6th September
09:35: New Zealand v Argentina (MacLean Park, Napier)
12:10 (18:10 local time): Australia v Springboks (Patersons Stadium, Perth)

Round 4 – 13th September
09:35 (19:35 local time) New Zealand v Springboks (Westpac Stadium, Wellington)
12:05: Australia v Argentina (Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast)

Round 5 – 27th September
17:05: Springboks v Australia (DHL Newlands, Cape Town)
TBC: Argentina v New Zealand (Estadio Ciudad de La Plata, La Plata)

Round 6 – 4th October
17:05: Springboks v New Zealand (Ellis Park, Johannesburg)
00:40 (Sunday, 5th October): Argentina v Australia (Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza)

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