Rugby Championship

Louw ready for McCaw battle

2012-09-12 12:16
Francois Louw (Gallo Images)
Auckland - Flank Francois Louw has been chosen by the Springboks for their Rugby Championship clash with the All Blacks in Dunedin on Saturday specifically for his skill at the breakdown and the South African is aware of the challenge he will face from New Zealand skipper Richie McCaw.

According to the website, McCaw is regarded as one of the greatest openside flanks to ever pull on a rugby jersey but Louw, who came off the bench last week against Australia for his first Test cap since last year’s Rugby World Cup, is looking forward to the challenge of matching his skill against McCaw.

“It will be a huge battle at the breakdown and during the whole game. McCaw is a good player on the ground. You will have to put in a big work-rate to keep up. But we have trained well this week and I’m looking forward to the game,” Louw told reporters in Auckland on Wednesday.

The All Black team will only be named on Thursday but Louw is aware the problems that a potential back row of McCaw, Liam Messam and Kieran Reid will pose.

“Read and Messam are both underrated players at times. They are players that you have to watch. They are good in the loose and have good ball carrying ability. They both have a helluva work-rate but at the end of the day you just have to outwork your opposite number,” he explained.

Louw will form part of a Springbok back row which will include eighthman Duane Vermeulen and Willem Alberts and his is confident that they will be able to match who ever New Zealand will pick in their loose trio.

“It’s great to have Duane in there. He has been fighting for that Bok spot for a long time. To finally get it last week was amazing. I’m so happy for him, he is one of my good mates. I’ve got to say that it is quite nice playing with a back row that is about the same weight as your front-row. Willem and Duane are big units. It is nice to have that go-forward ball and that solid wall on defence.

“The guys have a big challenge in front of them this weekend and we are going to have to put in a hard performance if we are going to beat the All Blacks,” he said.

The Springboks have not had a great run in the last few games, drawing with Argentina and losing 26-19 to Australia last weekend. The players could be forgiven for being a touch down in the dumps but Louw shrugged off suggestions that the team would be lacking motivation against New Zealand.

“We approach every Test as an individual game. We look at the past games and look at our mistakes and look at the positives. Last week wasn’t one of our best performances. We had a few opportunities that we didn’t execute on and if we can get those things right then there is definitely a chance for us to take the All Blacks.

“We have approached this week as a new game and we need to get a win under the belt,” he explained.


New Zealand:


South Africa:

15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Andries Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtwarira.

Substitutes: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Dean Greyling, 18-Andries Bekker, 19 Marcell Coetzee, 20 Johan Goosen, 21 Juan de Jongh, 22 Pat Lambie.


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