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World Cup winner and Bath stalwart Louw to retire

Rugby World Cup winner Francois Louw has announced he will retire at the end of the season following a nine-season spell with Bath.

Louw has enjoyed an illustrious career that has seen him represent Western Province, the Stormers and Bath at club level, while also earning 76 international caps for South Africa.

The 34-year-old brought down the curtain on his Springboks career in November on the back of their World Cup triumph in Japan and is now to call time on his club career.

Louw has made 134 starts in 140 appearances for Bath and told his club’s official website: “Bath is a city that we call home now.

“My family and I have settled here, and representing the club so many times has been one of the many highlights of my career.

“While this has been an incredibly tough decision to make, the time does feel right to face a new challenge. 

“Right now, however, my focus is with Bath, and I will give everything to the club as our sights are set on making the play-offs and winning further silverware.”

Bath’s director of rugby Stuart Hooper led the tributes to Louw, who has qualified as a financial advisor ahead of a second career.

“The contribution he has made to our club cannot be overstated,” Hooper said.

“I have had the privilege of being by his side as a player and working with him now as director of rugby, and his experience, commitment and world class skill has been a mainstay of Bath for nine seasons. 

“He gives absolutely everything, every single time he pulls on the Bath colours – whether on the training ground or on matchday – and we cannot ever ask for more than that.”

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