TOP BAR - Fixtures

Louw lauds Bath Rugby’s backline ahead of Saracens’ finale

The sight of Francois Louw running at full steam is enough to worry any side but the flanker admits Bath Rugby’s back-line is their most dangerous weapon.

Bath will compete for their maiden Aviva Premiership Rugby title – and first domestic crown since 1996 – against Saracens at Twickenham this Saturday, in a clash of contrasting styles.

Fly-half George Ford will conduct a Bath back-line that includes pace and power in equal measure in the likes of Jonathan Joseph, Anthony Watson and Matt Banahan, while Saracens’ fabled Wolf Pack will attempt to stop them in their tracks.

In truth both sides have game-changers from 1 to 15 but Louw insists there has been nothing quite like Bath’s backs this season when they are in full flow.

"Being a loose forward with the backs we have, it can sometimes be quite scary," Louw said. "They are very unpredictable and they just let loose.

"You know you are going to have to run about 50m to clean a ruck on the wing and then get up and clean a ruck on the other wing.

"It is a very high-tempo game, but the electric impact those guys have had has been monumental for us.

"It's an absolutely outstanding backline. A lot of the games we have won have been because of their outstanding individual ability."

Bath have not even contested an Aviva Premiership Rugby final since 2004 but change is in the air at the Rec, having recovered from their top-four near-miss last year to book a home semi-final this time around.

In that clash they put Leicester Tigers to the sword by 47-10 in a counter-attacking masterclass, and Louw believes his team can go on to channel the spirit of the club’s glory days this weekend.

"It's been a long road this season; it's been a long time coming for Bath as a club,” added the South African.

“To finally get here from a club's perspective is fantastic and to get there this year after all the effort we've put in is amazing, especially after a game like (against Leicester).

"You have a sense of pride and a sense of wanting to achieve that glory once again."
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