Cape Town - Gloucester Rugby have jumped to the defence of coach Johan Ackermann and his son Ruan Ackermann following allegations that the pair attacked an English man in a Cheltenham nightclub in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Harry Allen (24) had told Sport24 in detail on Monday how he was the victim of a beating from both Johan and Ruan, but Gloucester have since released a statement saying that they stand by the former Lions duo.
"Gloucester Rugby takes any allegations extremely seriously and we have conducted a full investigation in to this matter," club CEO Stephen Vaughan said.
"Having spoken to Johan, Ruan, the club where the alleged incident took place, the police and other independent witnesses as well as viewing subsequent CCTV footage, I am completely satisfied that whilst an incident did take place, it was instigated by others and not by Johan and Ruan as has been incorrectly reported.
"Both Johan and Ruan have been upset and disappointed by the allegations, but do appreciate the support from Gloucester Rugby fans, players, colleagues, friends and family."
Allen claimed that he would be pressing charges against the Ackermanns, while English police confirmed that they were investigating the incident.
Johan Ackermann coached the Lions to back-to-back Super Rugby finals in 2016 and 2017 before taking the Gloucester job following the completion of this year's tournament.
Ruan Ackermann, meanwhile, has impressed since joining his father at Gloucester and was named English Premiership Player of the Month for November.