Ackermann a ‘top coaching talent’ in world rugby
Cape Town - English club Gloucester are delighted to have secured the services of Johan Ackermann as head coach.
It was confirmed on Monday that Ackermann would leave the Lions at the conclusion of this year’s Super Rugby competition to join the English Premiership outfit.
Gloucester's Director of Rugby David Humphreys was over the moon having secured his preferred candidate.
"We're all delighted that Johan has agreed to become the next head coach of Gloucester Rugby. He is one of the top coaching talents in world rugby, and it's a significant coup for the club to recruit someone of his calibre," Humphreys told Gloucester’s official website.
"When we first spoke to Johan, we were struck by the enthusiasm and energy he displayed to take up the challenge at Gloucester but, once we had met with him, we knew he was the person we wanted to take the club forward.
"We were particularly impressed by his proven ability to take a team that has under-performed, and turned them into Championship contenders. Their year on year progression has been impressive and they are continuing that upward trend this season.
"The way that the Lions play in Super Rugby under his leadership has attracted many admirers around the world, as they have managed to create a winning brand but are also capable of playing an attractive style of rugby."
Ackermann’s decision to leave the Lions was done by mutual consent.
In his letter addressed to the Lions, Ackermann stated: “I have come to a crossroad in my career and believe that my coaching journey needs to change in order for me to grow (as a coach)”.
Ackermann was appointed head coach of the Lions in 2013 after being assistant coach to the Super Rugby side since 2010.
He took the Lions to the Super Rugby final in 2016, where they lost to the Hurricanes in Wellington.
As a player, Ackermann represented a number of high profiled teams in over 180 matches as well as the Springboks in 13 Tests
Rudolf Straeuli, CEO of the Lions, commented: “I honour and respect the decision and wish him all the best. I hope he grows in this new chapter of his career and returns to South Africa an even better coach. Ackers is a valuable asset to the Lions, our community and our culture and more importantly to SA Rugby. Johan will be missed, but we have experienced coaches in our structures and that will ensure continuity.”