Aviva Premiership
Bath sign Springbok Louw
ESPNscrum Staff
July 12, 2011

Bath have announced the signing of South African flanker Francois Louw on a three-year deal from The Stormers.

The 26-year-old, who is currently part of the Springboks' preliminary Rugby World Cup squad, is set to link up with the Premiership club at the end of the year. If he fails to earn a place in Peter de Villiers' final 30-man squad for the World Cup then he will be on Currie Cup duty with Western Province until the end of October.

The seven-cap Springbok will replace former Bath captain and fellow South African international Luke Watson at The Rec following his decision to return home and join the SA Kings.

Louw hopes to make an impact at the West Country side, but has his sights firmly set on a Springbok jersey in the immediate future. "Whilst I am hopeful of playing my way into the Springbok squad for the forthcoming Tri-Nations and Rugby World Cup, I am very excited to be joining a side with such a prestigious past and exciting future as Bath," Louw said. "I'm looking forward to working hard and competing for a place in the team, in what is a very competitive squad, and helping Bath to become a real force, both in domestic and European competitions."

Bath's director of rugby Sir Ian McGeechan was suitably delighted with his new powerful backrow "Francois is an outstanding player and character who will add to, and complement, the squad at Bath," McGeechan said. "We are all very impressed with his qualities and are looking forward to working closely with him."

Rob Wagner, Managing Director of the Western Province, commented: "Francois has been an integral part of the Stormers and WP squads. A true modern professional, his athleticism and presence on the pitch has been matched by his commitment and passion for team and brand off the field. We wish him all the best at Bath and thank him for his loyalty and time in the Western Province."

Louw will be joined at Bath by fellow new signings England international Dave Attwood, rugby league convert Kyle Eastmond and former Leicester centre Dan Hipkiss. Bath have also reportedly agreed a deal to sign All Blacks fly-half Stephen Donald to replace South African stand-off Butch James.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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