World Cup-winner Francois Louw has decided to call time on his incredible career at the end of the current Gallagher Premiership season.
The 34-year-old, who has made 140 appearances over nine years for Bath, has rejected the chance to continue his career over in the States in Major League Rugby.
Louw said: “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 many highlights.
“Whilst this has been an incredibly tough decision to make, the time does feel right to face a new challenge.”
Bath director of rugby Stuart Hooper said: “The contribution ‘Flouw’ has made to our club cannot be overstated.
“These characteristics will serve him well as he moves on from rugby and whilst we wish him the very best for his future, we will all miss him incredibly.
“Personally, I’m thrilled he has chosen to stay in Bath and will look forward to seeing him at the Rec as well as around the city.”
Louw is expected to take a job in finance after qualifying as a financial advisor with the London Institute of Banking and Finance.
Francois Louw’s all-time XV:
1. OS DU RANDT
Os du Randt spent the majority of his career in his native South Africa. He made 80 appearances for the Springboks and was part of the 1995 World Cup winning squad. His final appearance for South Africa came in the 2007 World Cup final, which they also won – making him the only South African to have two World Cup winners’ medals.
2. KEITH WOOD
With over 50 caps for Ireland, Wood played on the 1997 and 2001 Lions tours, and was the inaugural winner of the World Rugby Player of the Year award in 2001.Embed from Getty Images
3. CARL HAYMAN
Hayman won 45 New Zealand caps with his staggering power, which would live long in the memory of adoring fans. He spent three years at Newcastle Falcons before joining Toulon, where he won three consecutive European titles.
4. PAUL O’CONNELL
Second-row Paul O’Connell is Munster through and through, and won 108 caps for Ireland from 2002 to 2015. O’Connell made 218 appearances for Munster, scoring 95 points. He featured in the 2005, 2009, and 2013 British and Irish Lions Tours, captaining the side in 2009.
5. VICTOR MATFIELD
No rugby player has played more for South Africa than Victor Matfield, who was arguably the best lock in the world during his decade playing Test rugby. Matfield appeared in three World Cups and earned numerous accolades through his consistently strong performances at all levels of the game. He was also a very strong leader and captained the Springboks many times.Embed from Getty Images