Cape Town - Lions coach Johan Ackermann will leave the Johannesburg-based union by mutual consent to take up a role with English club Gloucester.
This was confirmed by Ackermann at a press conference held in Johannesburg on Monday morning.
Ackermann will leave the Lions after the conclusion of this year's Super Rugby competition.
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.”