Rugby Championship

All Blacks mindful of Louw, Kolisi

2017-10-06 14:03
Francois Louw (Gallo)

Cape Town - On Saturday, Francois Louw will wear a Springbok No 8 jersey for the first time in an international career that has spanned over seven years.

It is a decision that coach Allister Coetzee says will not have too much of an impact on proceedings, and he says that Louw will still play towards the ball and be as influential on the ground. 

Louw returned to the Springbok set-up ahead of last weekend's 27-27 draw against Australia in Bloemfontein, and while he perhaps wasn't as influential as he would have liked to have been in that match, it is clear that he has the respect of his All Black opponents ahead of Saturday's clash at Newlands. 

All Black No 6 Liam Squire, capped just 11 times in Test rugby, was addressing media from his team's hotel in Cape Town on Thursday, and he spoke very highly of the 32-year-old Louw. 

"Not only his presence on the field, but his leadership as well. He'll be massive for them and it's a great opportunity for us to play against one of the best in the world," Squire said.

"They have always had good loose forwards and their game revolves around their physicality, and their loose forwards definitely bring that. 

"We know that we're going to have to be on the top of our game if we have to combat that."

Squire had also been impressed by Bok No 6 Siya Kolisi this year.

"He's been outstanding, even throughout his Super Rugby campaign where he was captain and then with his international appearances," he said.

"He's a player that we're aware of. It's exciting for a No 6 to go head-to-head with a guy like him."

All Black coach Steve Hansen also expected the Boks to be a different threat with the experienced Louw in their side.

"I've got a lot of respect for Louw. I think he's a really good player. You'd think that would strengthen them," he said.

The other surprise in the Bok loose trio is the inclusion of Pieter-Steph du Toit at No 7. 

Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:05.

Teams:

South Africa

15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Francois Louw, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6, Siya Kolisi, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Handre Pollard, 23 Damian de Allende

New Zealand

15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Kane Hames

Substitutes: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Matt Todd, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 David Havili

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