Position: Back Row
Honours: South Africa
Date of birth: 15th Jun 1985
Height: 1.9m (6' 3")
Weight: 112kg (17st 9lb)
Originally from Cape Town, Springbok Francois Louw joined Bath Rugby this summer.
Having been released from the South Africa World Cup training squad, the flanker joined up with his new teammates at Farleigh House for pre-season training. However, just a few days after touching down in Bath, he was back on a plane to New Zealand, having been re-called by Peter de Villiers.
Since the end of the tournament, the hard hitting flanker made his debut in the LV= Cup win against Worcester Warriors, where he scored his debut try and took the Man of the Match award.
Before moving to Bath, Francois had been an intergral part of the Super 15 Stormers side throughout the last two seasons, and had represented Western Province over 60 times.
We sat down with 'Flo' to find out how he was settling into life at Bath...
You've been in Bath for a couple of months now, how are you finding it?
"I'm very excited to be here. Obviously it was a big decision to make to move over here, but it's one I'm happy with. So many things about Bath attracted me, it's a very prestigious club, there are great facilities, and most importantly a great team who have one collective goal, so in the end it wasn't that hard a decision to make. I've settled in really well, just recently moved into my new flat, so it's been great to finally unpack properly and really settle into our new home."
Of course, it was a big decision to move here, what was it that appealed to you about playing in England?
"Personally, I wanted a new challenge. Playing rugby in South Africa was amazing, and I loved it, but I felt that I wanted a new experience – to experience a different side of the world and a different culture. Coming to Bath was an easy decision really, and so much drew me here, I'm really happy to be here now."
How did you get into playing rugby?
"I started playing at school when I was 8 years old, and have been playing ever since, from university through to international level. You could say it was in the family in a way as my grandfather was Jan Pickard, who played for the Boks in the 50s, captained Western Province and also went on to become President of Western Province, so rugby's in the blood!"
How would you say that rugby in South Africa differs from that over here?
"I think there's obviously some differences between southern hemisphere rugby and northern hemisphere – it's a lot more expansive down there, whereas up here it's a bit of a tighter game, but it's not been difficult really to adjust. There are a big, diverse range of players and styles here, from all different nations, who are having an input, which has a fantastic impact on the style of rugby we play."
You've mentioned playing at international level, and got called up to the Springboks World Cup squad – how did you find the experience?
"Yeh, I was very pleased to be called up in the end. It was an amazing experience. Obviously, we didn't finish the tournament in the way we wanted, but it was incredible to be playing against the best in the world, and it's a great feeling to represent your country and a huge honour."
You've played a couple of games for Bath now, how have you found it so far?
"It's absolutely mindblowing to run out at the Rec, and I really enjoyed my debut against Worcester – the support and atmosphere is something else, and it really lifts you as a player.
"The Heineken Cup is a great tournament, one of the biggest club tournaments in the world. The Glasgow result was disappointing as we'd put our all into it, and so to lose in the last minute was devastating, but we picked ourselves up and focused on Montpellier."
Which team mate did you meet first? Michael Claassens
Who has the best banter at the Club? Flats
If you knew the world was about to end, what you would do? Go back to South Africa and see my family
Who would play you in a film of your life? Johnny Depp, of course!
If you were to sing Karaoke, what would you sing and who would be your back up? Wonderwall, with Schalk Burger on guitar
How do you take your coffee? Strong, with just a little bit of milk.
Who would captain your rugby dream team? Claassy
Who has been the toughest flanker you have come up against? David Pocock
Who has had the biggest influence on your career so far? Probably my parents, just for all the support they've given me
If you won the lottery what would be the first thing you bought? The Royal Crescent, and then I'd move all my friends in for a year!
If you were stranded on a desert island, which teammate would you take with you and why? Probably Pieter Dixon, for the entertainment!
What's your favourite movie? Stepbrothers
Which song do you know all the words to? I know a lot of chorus' but not many verses, so none!
If you could have one super power, what would it be and why? Power to teleport, so I could go and visit everyone and do everything in one day
If you weren't a professional rugby player, which other sport would you play? I'd like to be a pro-tennis player – not sure I can play tennis all that well though!