Francois Louw (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - The Springboks will run out at the iconic Twickenham Stadium for the first time during the Rugby World Cup when they face Wales in the first quarter-final on Saturday afternoon.
It will be the Boks’ first visit to the home of English rugby since they played there last November, beating England in a pulsating encounter.
Springbok flank Francois Louw, who plays for English club Bath, has played at Twickenham since then and said he and his team-mates can’t wait to run out in front of a capacity crowd on Saturday.
When asked about his return to Twickenham this weekend, Louw, who will earn his 41st cap for South Africa on Saturday, said: “My last match there, for Bath in the Premiership Final, didn’t end well, but that is irrelevant now as this is a new team, a new opponent and a new competition.
“The focus for me is now solely on the Springboks and Saturday’s quarter-final against a very good Welsh team.
“Twickenham is a fantastic place to play at, in front of a very knowledgeable and vibrant crowd. It’s the home of English rugby and the vibe on Saturday will be electric on such a huge occasion.
“We certainly can’t wait for the match and although we’ve recently enjoyed some good results there, that is history – we’ve got a plan to execute this weekend and we can’t wait for the challenge.”
Louw said the Springboks will have to brace themselves for a physical onslaught from Wales, with the breakdown a crucial area of the game.
“They are very efficient at the breakdown and will try and get guys to come quick over the ball,” said Louw. “The breakdown will be crucial if we want to stop each other’s momentum in the game.”
Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende,
11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Fourie du Preez (captain), 8 Duane
Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben
Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Jannie du Plessis, 19
Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Pat Lambie,
23 Jan Serfontein.
Anscombe, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Tyler Morgan, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 George
North, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Sam Warburton
(captain), 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Luke Charteris, 3 Samson
Lee, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Gethin Jenkins.
Substitutes: 16 Ken
Owens, 17 Paul James, 18 Tom Francis, 19 Bradley Davies, 20 Justin
Tipuric, 21 Lloyd Williams, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 James Hook