Springbok FRANCOIS LOUW talks exclusively to Thislife Online about England, marriage and his most irritating habit
This interview was first published by Thislife Online in 2013

Capetonian flanker Francois Louw, 31, was born with rugby in his blood, a legacy of his grandfather, SA international Jan Pickard. Educated at Bishops College in Cape Town, he played for several years for the Stormers and Western Province, and made his Springbok debut in 2010. In 2011, he signed what was initially a three-year contract with Bath Rugby in England and will now be there until 2019. Francois’ parents run a guesthouse in Hermanus, Western Cape, and his South African wife Sarah works in mergers and acquisitions just outside Bath. They have a daughter and son, Lucy (3) and Thomas (4 months).

Francois Louw: ‘I use what I learn in rugby for life off the field’

Why rugby? There was always a bit of rugby gees [spirit] in the family. I played from the age of about eight, and loved every minute of it. It’s an amazing game and I have learnt so much from it that I can use off the field. Most importantly it has taught me to be humble, and grateful for everything I have.

Why Bath Rugby? I’ve always wanted to play abroad and try something new. The opportunity came around a little sooner than I had hoped, but the club has a lot of history and heritage, and it’s something I wanted to be part of. Bath’s a beautiful city with a rich culture and great atmosphere.

Best thing about living in England? Meeting amazing people from all over the world, with whom I hope to stay in touch for the rest of my life

Worst thing about living in England? The sun doesn’t exist here for nine months of the year

One thing not a lot of people know about the Springboks is… That the first rule about the Springboks is you don’t talk about the Springboks!

Best rugby memory? Sitting in the changing room at Newlands after the Super 15 semi-final in 2010, and being told by our team manager that I’d just been named in the Springbok team to face Wales in Cardiff.

You and God? Wherever I walk, I walk with Christ and He will always be there. I am truly blessed and all I have is because of His grace. That’s not to say that my path hasn’t swayed from side to side, but I believe it’s through Jesus that I am (and we all are) saved.

Coolest thing about God? Forgiveness.

How do you connect to God? I try to connect with God on a daily basis through prayer and His word (the Bible).

What’s in your fridge? Pre-marriage, pretty much just ice cream. Now, a great selection of meat, a lot of kiddie food, milk, veg… Sarah’s an unbelievable cook and she does an amazing job of keeping our options fresh and exciting.

Is marriage what you expected? It’s amazing, what I thought it would be and more. It’s all about finding a balance with each other and cruising alongside one another, hanging out with your best friend every day.

Your most irritating habit? Leaving the toilet seat up. It drives Sarah absolutely crazy!

Ultimate comfort food? Pizza – Parma ham and rocket.

Guilty pleasure? Have I mentioned ice-cream? Every night…

Francois Louw in action for Bath Rugby against the Worcester Warriors | Photo: Patrick Khachfe/Bath Rugby
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