After two unsuccessful World Cup campaigns veteran flank Francois Louw is thrilled to finish his Test career with a winners’ medal. JON CARDINELLI in Tokyo reports.
Shortly after the Boks’ 32-12 win in the World Cup final at the Yokohama Stadium, Louw confirmed that he will be retiring from the international game. As he fronted the media, with a winners’ medal draped around his neck and a big smile on his face, he remarked on his own and South Africa’s fairytale ending.
‘This does cap my career,’ Louw said. ‘That was officially my final game for South Africa.
’76 games. 10 years. I couldn’t have asked for anything bigger or more special. It’s been a very long and challenging road.’
Louw was part of the side that fell short in the 2011 and 2015 World Cups. He also featured in the squad across the 2016 and 2017 seasons when the Boks suffered a series of historic defeats and slumped to seventh in the world rankings.
‘We had a very dark couple of years. To come back the way we did, to form the united team the way we did, to play for a team that represents the nation and win the World Cup … it’s something I will cherish for the rest of my life.
‘I got knocked out in a quarter-final in 2011. I got knocked out in a semi-final in 2015. I’m glad I didn’t get knocked out in a final this time around. To win it is fantastic.
‘We had a tough start to the campaign. It was also going to be tough to play in the same pool as our nemesis, New Zealand. We finished the other pool games strongly and then faced a few challenges in the shape of Japan and Wales.
‘We came into this game with the right mindset and it went our way. It feels great to end things this way.’
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