Ackermann named Lions coach

    2012-06-26 10:42
    Cape Town - Former Springbok lock Johan Ackermann has been named coach of the Lions, taking over from the suspended John Mitchell.

    As was reported last week, the Golden Lions Rugby Union suspended Mitchell after several players expressed their grievances in writing to GLRU president Kevin de Klerk regarding the former All Blacks and Western Force coach’s harsh management style, which some players claimed even involved verbal abuse.

    De Klerk had initially said that Ackermann and Carlos Spencer would share the coaching duties, but on Monday confirmed to the Rugby365 website, that Ackermann would be the new coach and that Spencer would remain in his role as backline coach.

    Meanwhile, according to the BusinessDay website, the GLRU's management face their own test in the next few weeks as their legal team prepares to face Mitchell’s lawyers in the knowledge that the contracts of Spencer and fitness coach Wayne Taylor are linked to Mitchell’s contract.

    Should Mitchell be sacked, Spencer and Taylor could walk away freely from their contracts, meaning that the union may face the tough task of replacing most of their coaching team for the Absa Currie Cup which starts on August 11.

    The Lions' three remaining Super Rugby fixtures this season will see them take on the Stormers at Newlands (June 30), the Rebels in Johannesburg (July 7) and the Bulls in Pretoria (July 14).

    The Lions are currently bottom of the South African Conference with two wins and 11 defeats in their 13 matches to date. They lie 14th in the Combined log, one point ahead of the Blues.

    They are assured of finishing last in the South African Conference, which will in all likelihood see them be replaced by the Southern Kings for the 2013 tournament.


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