The loss of three locks to the Springboks has resulted in the Vodacom Blue Bulls signing Hottie Louw.
The former Bok and Western Province player has signed for the duration of the Currie Cup and his services will be heavily relied upon with the likes of Victor Matfield, Bakkies Botha and Danie Rossouw missing.
Louw joins Francois van Schouwenburg, Adriaan Fondse and Cliffie Milton to form a powerful second-row unit from which coach Heyneke Meyer can choose from.
Louw will be on loan to the Bulls from the Llanelli Scarlets for the remainder of the Currie Cup.
“I have returned to South Africa to compete for a place in the Springbok side and I believe the only way to do this is to play in the Currie Cup,” Louw said in a statement. “I would like to be in contention for a place in next year’s World Cup squad, and depending on my inclusion in the Springbok touring squad at the end of this year, will weigh up my options with regards to returning to the UK.”
Louw’s agent, James Adams, confirmed that Louw did not turn his back on Western
Province, despite news reports to the contrary. He said that they had in fact been in contact with WP, but that the province did not get back to them with any offers.
Bulls coach Heyneke Meyer said that Louw, who will be joining the Bulls within the next two weeks, will be a huge asset to the province. “We have lost three locks to the Springboks, and Louw’s experience will be invaluable to us. He will also be able to share this experience with the young, talented locks in the province, which will aid their development,” Meyer said.
“Hottie is still relatively young and he is now entering his best years as a lock. I believe he still has a role to play at international level.”