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South Africa

Bath prepared for Louw absence

07th August 2013 17:06


Francois Louw v Italy

International duty: Francois Louw

Bath director of rugby Gary Gold has prepared for the early absence of Francois Louw, with the captain away playing for South Africa.

Louw is set to be heavily involved with the Springboks throughout The Rugby Championship against Australia, New Zealand and Argentina until October.

Despite the possibility of having Louw back for the Aviva Premiership round three clash against Saracens, the 19-times capped flanker will miss rounds one, two, four and five of the new Premiership season, something which Gold has made plans to deal with.

With plenty of resources left behind to cover the back-row, including Carl Fearns, Mat Gilbert, Nick Koster and Matt Garvey, Gold is happy with the remaining players available to him.

"We knew he was clearly the number one guy for South Africa in his position last season, so we've had time to plan for him not to be here," said Gold to the Bath Chronicle.

"Of course we would have liked to have him with us all the way through but that's part of what having international players in your squad is all about.

"We want all of our players to be playing international rugby and when the Championship is finished we will get to add a fantastic international player back into our squad. That will give everyone a major lift.

"It was the same last year so we know how to deal with it. What's good is that he is still here training now, so at least we've had the chance to do some really good work in pre-season with him.

"He's learnt all the moves, got to know all the new guys and everything to do with how we want the team to play this year, so it shouldn't be a problem when he comes back in.

"We hope to have him back in the weeks off but we need to analyse the fixtures to see where the Springboks are playing to see if we can make it work."

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Wales vs South Africa14:30
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