South African rugby player Francois Louw has retired from international rugby, the sport’s governing body in the country confirmed on Sunday.
Louw, affectionately known as Flo, calls time on his international career just over a week after South Africa defeated England to win the Rugby World Cup in Japan.
He came on as a substitute for captain Siya Kolisi during the final which they won 32-12 in Yokohama.
Louw, 34, played in 76 Test matches scoring 10 tries. The loose-forward appeared in three Rugby World Cups: in 2011, 2015 and 2019. He also has a bronze medal from South Africa’s third place finish in 2015.
“I couldn’t have asked for a more fulfilling career with the Springboks and I bow out with a full heart,” said Louw, who currently plays for English Premiership club Bath.
Former Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus paid tribute to Louw whom he described as a real warrior with a tough mentality.
“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,” Erasmus said.
Louw made his senior professional debut in 2006 and won his first international cap against Wales four years later.
He also played 53 times in the Vodacom Super Rugby the DHL Stormers.
Louw becomes the second member of the victorious South African side at the 2019 Rugby World Cup to retire.
The Boks’ most-capped prop Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira, 34, also announced his retirement on Wednesday.