SOUTH African back-row forward Francois Louw will be staying with Bath for a ninth season.

The Premiership club have confirmed the 33-year-old has signed a new contract at the Rec.

Louw arrived in the West Country at the start of the 2011/12 season from Super Rugby outfit Stormers and has since made 130 appearances. 

Capped 65 times by his country, Louw has forged a reputation as one of the most highly-regarded back-row forwards.

Louw said: “I am delighted to have extended my stay at this club for another year.

“It has been a privilege and honour to play for Bath over the last eight seasons and to be a part of shaping the clear long-term future set out by the club is something I’m really excited about. Thank you to everyone for your continuous support.”

Director of rugby Todd Blackadder added: “Francois is one of those players that every coach wants in their team. He is not only a world-class player, but he brings the leadership qualities which will continue to drive us forward as a team.

“He has also been integral in the development of some of the younger players in the back row, with Sam Underhill, Zach Mercer, Josh Bayliss and Miles Reid all able to draw upon his experiences as a player. 

“I know this news is going to go down well with the Bath Rugby supporters, who have had the fortune of watching him down at the Rec for the last eight years.”

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