SPpringbok flanker Francois Louw has spent the past five seasons playing for Bath in the English Premiership.
One of only three overseas-based players – the others being Duane Vermeulen and Steven Kitshoff – currently in the Springbok setup, the 30-year-old believes he is a better player because of his move abroad back in 2011.
Louw, who has reunited with former Stormers boss Allister Coetzee in Cape Town yesterday, explains: “Playing for the Springboks is the ultimate for a South African rugby player.
“I’m very grateful and fortunate and honoured to be back here once again, I don’t think it’s ever a given [to be selected] and it’s definitely not for me.
“I do play overseas… it has brought the best out of me as a player. I’ve grown substantially, not just on the field, but off the field as well as a person.
“I think those skills and attributes I definitely bring back into the side. I can understand the reasoning behind selecting the domestic players as well, [but] that’s out of my hands at the moment.”
Of his reunion with Coetzee, Louw adds: “It’s funny how things sometimes go full circle, I had the privilege to play under Allister at the Stormers and Western Province at the start of my career.
“I have fond memories of the time we spent together, Allister has been a great coach of mine throughout my career as a player under him… and I’m sure he will teach me a few new tricks.”