Springboks

Francois Louw: Schoolboy rugby taken too seriously

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Francois Louw (Getty)
Francois Louw (Getty)
  • Legendary former Springbok flank Francois Louw feels schoolboy rugby is often taken too seriously.
  • Louw played first team rugby for Bishops but never made the Western Province schools team.
  • The 35-year-old remembers the pressure he was under at school and says the game "should be enjoyed for what it is" at schoolboy level.


Recently-retired Springbok flank Francois Louw believes schoolboy rugby is often taken too seriously.

The 2019 World Cup winner attended the prestigious Diocesan College in Cape Town, and while he played for the Bishops 1st XV in 2002 and 2003, he never represented Western Province at Craven Week.

In an interview with SuperSport's Matthew Pearce, Louw said that while he was disappointed not to have made the Western Province schools team, it was not the end of the world.

"I think, to be quite honest, schoolboy rugby is taken too seriously in terms of expectations, results and sometimes the game is not enjoyed for what it is. I remember the pressure at school as a rugby player," Louw said on the programme which was aired on Monday night.

"I was a decent player and wanted to perform at the highest level. I think there was a certain expectancy for me to perform at the highest level and make those teams but having gone to under-13 Craven Week trials and then at under-19 as well, [and] not making the final squads, it was a big disappointment for me. I set my standards pretty high and set out to achieve them. So, not being able to achieve those for whatever reason as a young schoolboy there was a bit of disappointment.

"It could have been a setback but it depends how you look at it. I have always tried to keep quite an open-minded outlook towards things. If it’s not meant to be, it's not meant to be.'

Louw went to Stellenbosch University after school where his rugby career took off.

"The beauty about rugby is that it doesn’t matter what team you play for, whether you play for the under-19 E team or for the first team. You are having an awesome time with your mates, playing a big game, trying to do something special in a split second in any fixture. That’s what really counts at the end of the day.

"Obviously, there is that professionalism side, there is that area of the game that you want to go into. But at school it wasn’t meant to be, I suppose. I continued playing as best I could and that obviously took me to Stellenbosch University."

Louw, 35, recently announced his retirement from rugby after playing 76 Tests for the Springboks.

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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