Cape Town - Johan Ackermann has signed a new contract to extend his tenure as head coach of English club Gloucester.
The former Springbok lock has been at Kingsholm for less than two years since moving from the Lions in South Africa.
"After what has been a hugely successful season for Gloucester Rugby, we are delighted to announce that head coach Johan Ackermann has signed a new contract to remain with Gloucester Rugby," the club posted on their official website.
By extending his stay in England, Ackermann has effectively ruled himself out of the Springbok coaching job which is due to become vacant following the Rugby World Cup later this year when Rassie Erasmus is expected to step down.
His first season saw the Cherry and Whites reach the European Rugby Challenge Cup final and qualify for this season’s European Champions Cup.
In the 2018/19 season, Ackermann's second season at the helm, Gloucester finished third in the Premiership compared to seventh 12 months ago.
Continuity has been a keyword in the club’s approach going forward in recent times, keeping a core group of players and staff together and avoiding mass turnover. And moving swiftly to secure Ackermann’s services on a long-term basis is a key part of that according to Director of Rugby David Humphreys.
"Johan's contribution over the past two seasons has been terrific. We knew when we first approached him about the head coach role here at Gloucester Rugby that we had targeted the right man, and he has fully validated that decision.
“We’re not naive to think that the work he’s done here has gone unnoticed in the world of Rugby. And that’s why we wanted to move quickly to ensure that he remains an integral part of what we’re trying to achieve in the future.
"He's a key figure here at the club, and we’re very much looking forward to seeing what we can achieve together."
And Ackermann himself confirmed that Gloucester Rugby has become a huge part of his life and that he’s determined to try and deliver the success that the club and its fans deserve.
"The past two seasons have been incredibly enjoyable for me and I feel very proud to be a part of such an amazing club. The passion of the city and the supporters, the way they have welcomed my family and myself has been very humbling.
"The past two seasons have been tough but enjoyable. We’ve made progress, but the job is far from complete. We are only a certain way along the journey that we are making together, have a lot of hard work ahead of us and a lot to achieve. I want to take this opportunity to personally thank Martin St. Quinton, Stephen Vaughan, David Humphreys and the rest of the Gloucester Rugby Board for believing in the coaching team and me and supporting us in what we want to achieve.
"We are assembling a fine group at Gloucester Rugby, quality individuals which includes not just our players but also the coaches and staff. And I’m confident that, if we all pull together, work hard and remain true to our beliefs that we can do great things for the club, its supporters and the city of Gloucester!"