Aviva Premiership
Booth: Bath can fill Louw void
ESPN Staff
September 6, 2012
Bath's Francois Louw charges forward, Bath v Worcester, Aviva Premiership, The Rec, Bath, England, March 3, 2012
Francois Louw will be on Springboks duty this weekend © Getty Images
Related Links
Players/Officials: Toby Booth | Francois Louw
Tournaments/Tours: Aviva Premiership
Teams: Bath Rugby | England

Bath coach Toby Booth admits that it is a blow to lose Francois Louw to Springboks duty but he is confident that they have the strength in depth at their disposal to cover his absence.

Louw is on the bench for South Africa's clash with Australia on Saturday in Perth but featured for Bath in their narrow 24-23 win over Worcester last weekend. Bath have had injury worries in the form of Simon Taylor, Josh Ovens and Guy Mercer but Booth is confident that the trio will be in the mix for their match with Wasps at the Recreation Ground on Saturday.

"We are disappointed to lose Francois, but it gives someone else an opportunity and we will see if they can step up to the mark on Saturday," Booth told the Western Daily Press. "We are lucky because the timing has been very good to us and Simon Taylor and Josh Ovens are both back. They played in the United game against Exeter and put in decent performances, so have put their hands up for selection this weekend.

"That goes alongside the boys who are already there and a couple of youngsters too, with the likes of Will Skuse. We are probably looking a bit stronger in the front-row department because Ant Perenise is back as well, but we can play Stuart Hooper in the back-row if needs be and Guy Mercer has been doing well.

"We've lost Francois and he is a very influential player for us, but then again he could be out for six months injured, so you cannot be reliant on one player. Every coach will tell you that if you get your best players on the pitch your chances of winning are greater. However, the challenge going forward is to recruit a squad that can absorb those things and be resilient to international call-ups.

"Ideally, we'd love all of our players to play international rugby because it reflects well on the group and what we are doing."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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