News from the Springbok camp in Hazyview is that Francois Louw has been released early this week, to concentrate on his wedding, which takes place on Sunday. He will rejoin the Springbok camp again on Monday.
Meanwhile Francois Hougaard, who was sent to Pretoria to see a specialist following a knee cartlidge injury flare-up, and told to sit out for 2 weeks till re-evaluation, will be replaced by Louis Screuder, the Stormers scrumhalf.
Francois Louw was fully prepared and eager to play in the Test agaist Scotland on Saturday, but Springbok coach, Heyneke Meyer decided it would be best for Francois and the team to let the hard-working openside flank focus on his wedding to Sarah Tatham.
“This is a very precious time for Francois and Sarah and I want them both to enjoy this very special occasion,” said Meyer.
“Francois is extremely committed to the Springbok cause.”
“I wanted to give him the entire week off, but he insisted on training with the squad this week.”
“He really wanted to play on Saturday.”
“While I respect that and believe playing for your country should always come first, one needs to be flexible when it comes to special occasions like these, which is why I have told him to take a few days off.”
“Family is very important to us and I would like to wish him and both families the very best for their big day.”
“Francois will join us again in Pretoria on Monday and I know his full focus will then be with the Springboks again.”
Meyer is of the opinion that there is sufficient depth in the Springbok squad at looseforward to cover for Francois Louw, in his absense.
27-Year old Louw has played in 18 Tests for the Springboks and has been a vital part of the Springbok setup since September 2012 when he was recalled into the Springbok setup.
Although thankful for the opportunity to focus on his wedding, Francois Louw said, “My country will always come first and I would have loved to play for the Springboks this weekend”.
“But I appreciate the coach’s view and the fact that he has granted me a few days off.”
“Getting married is an important day in any person’s life and I’m very much looking forward to it, but I’m equally excited to join the squad again next week.”
Uncapped Louis Schreuder is the second scrumhalf in a few days to be drafted into the Springbok squad, following specialist medical advice and the decision to rest Francois Hougaard after Hougaard was sent for scans on his knee, to assess the injury he picked up during Super Rugby, which flared up again during training in Hazyview this week.
“At this stage Francois doesn’t require surgery but will be re-evaluated in two weeks’ time to see if the injury has settled sufficiently for him to resume playing,” Springbok team doctor Craig Roberts said.
“Losing two No 9′s in such a short space of time is obviously a setback, but I’ve always rated Piet van Zyl and Louis Schreuder as two of the best young scrumhalves in South Africa,” said Heyneke Meyer.
“Piet’s attitude has been fantastic since he joined us on Sunday and he’s worked hard on the training field and off it, making sure he gets to know and understand our plays as quickly as possible.”
“He’s been playing great rugby for the Cheetahs and I have a lot of confidence in him.”
“Although Louis has not officially been part of our set-up yet, he has helped out at two of our training camps in Cape Town before, so coming into the squad will not be all new to him,” said Meyer.