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Rugby: Bok stalwart Louw announces international retirement

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By Reuters
Rugby: Bok stalwart Louw announces international retirement

CAPETOWN (Reuters) – South Africa loose-forward Francois Louw confirmed his retirement from international rugby on Sunday, the second of the Springboks’ World Cup-winning side to call time on their careers in the green and gold.

Louw, who came off the replacement bench for captain Siya Kolisi in the 32-12 victory over England in the World Cup decider on Nov. 2, won 76 test caps having made his debut in 2010.

“I couldn’t have asked for a more fulfilling career with the Springboks and I bow out with a full heart,” he said in a media release from South Africa Rugby.

“I’ve had an amazing journey in international rugby. I’ve made friends for life in the game and created incredible memories with great people.”

Bok coach Rassie Erasmus was full of praise for the contribution of the Bath loose-forward to their World Cup campaign.

“Flo was a real warrior of the back row. He was always ready to go where the fire was hottest and was the kind of tough-minded character that you’d always want beside you,” Erasmus said.

“He has been a tremendous servant of South African rugby and we’re losing a lot with his retirement, not just in how he played, but in the calmness, insight and character that he brought to the group.”

Louw’s retirement follows that of prop Tendai Mtawarira, who won the last of his 117 caps in the World Cup final.

(Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Hugh Lawson)