Ruan Ackermann extends Gloucester stay, has sights on representing England

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

Former Lions loose forward Ruan Ackermann is one of four players to have signed new multi-year contracts to stay at English outfit Gloucester.

Ackermann, whose dad Johan was the Gloucester head coach between2017 and 2020, has been at the club since 2017 and this latest signing indicates his intent to earn selection for England - and not his country of birth South Africa.

"Ruan Ackermann puts his body on the line every game and it's great for the future of the club that the ferocious back rower has stayed here at Kingsholm. With the ball carrying ability to put us on the front foot, Ackermann is a key member of the squad," Gloucester described the 25-year-old in a statement.

In January, Ackermann told The Guardian he was excited about potentially playing Test rugby for England.

"I have not had any interest from South Africa in the last 18 months," Ackermann told The Guardian. "England have grown since last year's World Cup and the prospect of playing for them has excited me.

"I had discussions with Eddie Jones (England coach) before the first lockdown, but it was nothing massive. He told me what I should work on and what he liked about me. There has been nothing since then and I just need to play to the best of my ability, making sure that I am ready if it ever happens and take it with both hands."

The others players to have extended their stays at Gloucester include Argentine lock Matias Alemanno, prop Val Rapava-Ruskin and Georgian centre Giorgi Kveseladze.

Gloucester head coach George Skivington said he was pleased to have the four players on board.

"These four lads are exactly what we're about here at Gloucester Rugby. They all put their bodies on the line every time they put on the shirt so I'm pleased to have them all around for the future.

"It's an exciting time for the club and it's great to see that players of their quality and ability have brought into what we’re doing here and that they want to stay."

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