Fresh from signing a contract extension, Francois Louw believes there’s no better time to be involved with Bath Rugby.
Louw joined from South African side Stormers in 2011, and has gone on to make 130 appearances for the Blue, Black and White.
“It’s been an awesome road,” said the South African international. “I’ve been here for eight seasons now, going into my ninth, I’m really excited about that. Looking back, it’s only filled with really good memories. Obviously, some of the seasons have been up and down and we haven’t achieved the silverware we have been aiming for. However, there has been a massive development in the Club and for myself personally.
“We are on the right track and we are trying to develop something special here, a lot of hard work has gone into that and the people involved with it are making huge strides.”
Bath Rugby make the journey down the M5 on Sunday to face top of the table Exeter Chiefs, two weeks after defeating reigning Gallagher Premiership Champions Saracens at the Rec. Louw understands that it is no easy feat to get a result at Sandy Park, but remains excited for the challenge that lies ahead.
“They will be a tough opponent to play, obviously top of the league and we are desperately looking for wins at this stage, lying sixth at the moment, a victory will put us into a really comfortable position chasing that top four spot. So, we will give it our best to try to walk away with the points and I think as a squad we are excited to take on this challenge.”
Following Sunday’s clash, Bath Rugby face a tough run-in to the end to the season, with Bristol Bears, Gloucester and Sale Sharks to follow. However, given how tight the league is, Louw admits that irrespective of fixtures, there are no easy games in the competition.
“You play against any side in the Premiership and you need to step up. We have lost to some of the so called poorer sides within the league and beaten some of the top sides. Whatever the opponent, it’s going to be a challenge. From our perspective, we come in with a next step focus, which is Exeter at this stage. We have a by-week next week, so we will have two weeks to prepare for Bristol. We will deal with that when it comes around, but for now the focus is on Exeter.”
With a World Cup on the horizon this summer, it’s no secret that Louw would like to add his two previous in appearances in 2011 and 2015. But the 65-time capped Springbok appreciates that if he performs consistently for his club, then everything else will take care of itself.
“I’m excited to play for Bath and my outlook on international rugby has always been don’t give them a reason not to pick you. Play as well as you can for your club and you’ll make the squad. I’m not trying to play for South Africa at this stage but it would be exciting to be part of that squad going into the World Cup.”