Aviva Premiership
Bath confident that Louw will stay
ESPN Staff
November 8, 2012
Bath's Francois Louw charges forward, Bath v Worcester, Aviva Premiership, The Rec, Bath, England, March 3, 2012
Francois Louw has been one of Bath's standout players since his switch from the Stormers © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Gary Gold | Francois Louw
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Bath Rugby boss Gary Gold is confident that star flanker Francois Louw will spurn offers from South Africa to re-sign with the Aviva Premiership side.

Louw is currently on international duty with the Springboks and has been named in the starting XV ahead of their match with Ireland on Saturday. The flanker also turned out during the Rugby Championship and with fellow internationals such as Francois Steyn opting to leave lucrative European-based contracts and return to South Africa, there were rumours that Louw, who is halfway through his three-year deal with Bath, would opt to do the same.

The 27-year-old flanker has been one of Bath's standout players since his switch from the Stormers ahead of the 2011-12 season and has captained the team on a number of occasions. And Gold, who is a former Springboks assistant coach, is optimistic that Louw can combine his domestic duties with his international commitments and will choose to stay at the Recreation Ground.

"I'm sure there will be pressure for him to go back home but I'm confident we can retain him," Gold told the Bath Chronicle. "I don't think retaining Francois is a problem."

Gold has also formerly coached the Western Province and Bath have reaped the rewards of his relationship with the South African side with their capture of Nick Koster. And Gold is hopeful that the relationship will continue to grow over the coming seasons as he seeks to work alongside Stormers boss Allister Coetzee.

"Allister and I are good friends and we would very much like to try and build something of a relationship," Gold said. "I have a good relationship with Western Province; I left there on good terms. We don't play against each other so we are not a competitive threat.

"We could share ideas both commercially and from a game point of view. They will need a player at some stage and I'm sure we can help them, and vice versa."

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