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VIDEO: The lowdown on Wilco's Bok dream

SPOTLIGHT: As the top South African franchises gear up for Champions Cup action, this weekend will also be a perfect opportunity for players to impress the Springboks’ management.

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The Stormers will host La Rochelle in the Round of 16 match in Cape Town, while the Bulls take on Lyon at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

A win for the Bulls will see them secure a Champions Cup quarterfinal match for the first time.

While that achievement will be incredible for Jake White and his side, a win will also build a strong case for a Springbok call-up for players like in-form Bulls prop Wilco Louw.

The 29-year-old has been really impressive for the Bulls and his form was recently rewarded with an invitation to the Springboks’ alignment camp held in Cape Town in March.

The strong forward made his Springbok debut during the 2017 Rugby Championship against the All Blacks. He earned 14 Test caps before his last match in green and gold against Los Pumas in 2021.

“It is every rugby player’s dream to play for his country,” Louw said when asked about his Springbok aspiration for this year.

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“It is important to play well for your franchise and be consistent every week. If you focus on that at the right time, a call-up will happen.

“But for now I want to play good rugby for the Bulls and it will always be a big dream to play for the Springboks again.”

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Since joining the Bulls from the Harlequins in 2023, Louw has turned the Pretoria team’s scrum into a real weapon.

The prop struggled with a minor AC joint injury at the start of the year but has returned and his impact is certainly felt in the Bulls pack.

Louw, who played for the Stormers before a stint with Toulon and Harlequins, said he is enjoying his rugby at the Bulls.

“It is really nice to be back in South Africa. I enjoyed my time overseas at the Harlequins,” Louw said.

“But there was an opportunity at the Bulls and it is exciting to be at the franchise.

“For me personally, I enjoy the rugby, the URC is a good tournament, it is very competitive.

“A few years ago when South Africa just joined the URC, [Springbok prop] Steven Kitshoff said it’s the closest you can come to Test rugby and I think it’s true.

“Last weekend you played against Leinster, a well-coached team that excels in almost every facet of the game – good scrum, good maul, their backs can run. It is the same this weekend when we face Lyon. They play good rugby with a big pack and it is very competitive in the Top 14.

“So I really enjoy playing for the Bulls.”

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