Francois Louw believes that Bath Rugby can use Heineken Champions Cup qualification as momentum going into next season.
The South African international returned from injury to play 80 minutes in Saturday’s bonus-point victory against Leicester and is confident that the Club will push on.
Louw said: “It’s been a tough season for us. It hasn’t panned out in the way we hoped and unfortunately it came down to the final game. The boys put in a great performance to achieve what we came here to achieve.
“We set the bar high for ourselves – we want to achieve the highest standards and play against the best teams in the world. Champions Cup allows for that, so the fact that we’ve achieved that is the first step to a solid season ahead.”
The 33 year-old, who has been with the Club since 2011 is already excited by the prospect of what next season will bring with a number of changes taking place in both the playing and coaching setup.
“It’s an exciting time – it’s a new era for us. We’ve got a big coaching and playing contingent moving on and new guys coming in. Having the likes of Neal Hatley and Luke Charteris joining under Hoops’ leadership is exciting. It was a privilege to play with him a few years ago at the start of my career at Bath and I back him to do the job. We’ve got a lot of work to do, but the guys aren’t afraid of work. They’ll buy into his philosophy and ethos.”
Having featured in the last two Rugby World Cups, Louw has set his sights on making it a third with South Africa in Japan in September. The Springboks will face New Zealand, Italy, Namibia and Canada in Pool B, but the experienced back rower is not getting ahead of himself.
"I’ll give it my best go and hopefully get the opportunity to join that squad. It’s a long way away still – there’s a camp towards the end of June and a shortened version of the Championship. After that they’ll select a final World Cup squad, but it would be great to be involved."
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