Ruan Ackermann staying in UK, wants 'option to play for England'

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Ruan Ackermann (Getty Images)
Ruan Ackermann (Getty Images)

Johan Ackermann says his son Ruan won't be following him to Japanese club NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes.

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It was announced last week that Johan Ackermann would leave English club Gloucester to coach in Japan.

The former Lions coach had been at Gloucester since 2017 and in an interview with the IOL website, he said his son would not be following him to the Red Hurricanes.

Ruan, who plays lock and flank, had played under his dad at the Lions and followed him to Gloucester.

"Ruan is still in England, and staying put. [He] has two months to go before he qualifies to play for England and he'd very much like to have that opportunity as an option. What that might lead to, and what he decides after that, is up to him. He'll make a call on his career at a later stage," Ackermann said.

In his first season at Gloucester (2017/18), Ackermann led them to the final of the European Challenge Cup as well as qualification for the following season's European Champions Cup.

They finished seventh in the English Premiership in the 2017/18 season and third the following season (2018/19). When the current season (2019/20) was halted, they were ninth with four wins from 13 matches.

The former Springbok lock also has success as Lions coach, leading the men from Johannesburg to two runner-up spots in Super Rugby in 2016 and 2017.

Meanwhile, Ackermann's assistants at the Red Hurricanes were also confirmed over the weekend.

He will be joined by Rory Duncan, a former Cheetahs and Worcester Warriors had coach and Neil de Bruin.

De Bruin, whose job description at the Lions read 'attack, backs and skills', is the son of former Lions coach Swys de Bruin.

Duncan has turned down an offer from the Southern Kings, with Sport24 earlier reporting he was offered a R2 million per year deal to become head coach of the Port Elizabeth franchise.

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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