Rugby World Cup 2011

Louw at lock for Boks?

2011-09-14 07:30
Francois Louw (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The injury crisis at lock for the Springboks could force coach Peter de Villiers to play loose forward Francois Louw in the second row against Fiji in Wellington on Saturday.

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With Victor Matfield already ruled out with an injured hamstring, Johann Muller in doubt after also hurting his hamstring during training on Tuesday and Bakkies Botha still struggling with an Achilles injury, De Villiers could be left with no other choice than to pick Louw at lock.

At 1.90m, Louw might be a bit too short to play there, but the 26-year-old says he is up for the challenge.

"I'll play lock any time - it will be wonderful just to take part," a smiling Louw told Die Burger newspaper at the team's hotel in Wellington.

Louw incidentally last started a Test for the Boks in the very same city - Wellington - in last year's Tri-Nations against the All Blacks. He was then dropped from the side and only played as a replacement for 22 minutes against the All Blacks in Soweto. Since then, he has not played for the Springboks. Therefore, he is relishing a potential second chance in New Zealand.

"It was naturally disappointing not to tour to the Northern Hemisphere last year or to play in the Tri-Nations this year, but I have this opportunity now.

"It's important to make the best out of any situation and to show that it was the right decision to get me involved," said Louw.


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Taking into account where it will be held, the likely player retirements and new coaches in charge, which team looks best-placed to mount a challenge to the All Blacks at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England?


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