| Jake White already happy with ‘fire sale’ gem Elrigh Louw

Elrigh Louw in action for the Southern Kings during the PRO14.

Elrigh Louw in action for the Southern Kings during the PRO14.

Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images

  • Jake White, Bulls director of rugby, has already hailed the impact of Elrigh Louw.
  • The 20-year-old Junior Springbok, one of the few players bought in the so-called Kings fire sale, made a huge impression in the PRO14 in 2019/20. 
  • Louw fits the prototype of a White “enforcer” in the pack.

Much like snapping up a collector’s item at a cut price at a hasty jumble sale, the Bulls have scored with the signing of Elrigh Louw.

The 20-year-old loose forward was one of the first (and few to date) Southern Kings stars to be offered greener pastures following the cash-strapped franchise’s decision not to participate in any competitive action for the rest of the year.

Louw, one of the more notable performers in last year’s Junior Springbok vintage, made an almost seamless transition to senior rugby and performed impressively in the PRO14.

It’s little wonder then that Jake White, the Bulls’ director of rugby, is excited about his potential impact.

Elrigh Louw’s key stats in 2019/20’s PRO14

74 carries

311 running metres

8 clean breaks

4 offloads

100 tackles

90% tackle completion rate

6 turnovers

“Well, Elrigh is obviously an outstanding junior,” he said in his latest video on the Bulls’ mobile app.

“Everyone knows him. He’s one of those guys who probably leapfrogged junior rugby straight into senior rugby down at the Kings. He made a massive impression down there and comes from a school close to here, Transvalia (in Vanderbijlpark), so it will be nice for him to be closer to the family.”

At an imposing 1.95m and 112kg, Louw’s recruitment is hardly surprising as he fits the profile of White’s enforcers such as Duane Vermeulen, Jan Uys, Sintu Manjezi and to a lesser extent Arno Botha.

“What does he bring? He’s got young on his side and he’s still going to develop a lot as a player,” said the former Springbok coach.

“Elrigh can offer us anything in the back-row. If push comes to shove, he could easily cover lock as well. I’m looking forward to working with him. The week (or so) he’s been here he’s already made a massive impact. He can become someone the Bulls will be proud of.”

He’ll also add strike power in general to a Bulls pack that, in general, needs to breach the advantage line more consistently.

“You obviously have to get over the gain line whenever you play rugby. Once you get across the gain line you get momentum. Once you get momentum, you get numbers running onto the ball and less defenders,” said White.

“It has been a problem before but our signings add new dimensions in that regard. There are ways in which you change your attack too though through skills development in all your players.”

– Compiled by Heinz Schenk    

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