Ackermann wishes Gloucester 'nothing but the best' as he heads for Japan
JOHANNESBURG - Hopes of Johan Ackermann returning to coach in South Africa were officially dashed on Friday morning when it was announced the former Lions boss would be taking up a new job in Japan.
Ackermann, who led the Lions to two successive Super Rugby finals and had a big role in turning the once whipping boys of Super Rugby into contenders, has decided to next coach the NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes in Japan.
The former Springbok lock has spent the last three seasons with Gloucester Rugby in England, and even though he signed a contract extension not too long ago, he has parted ways with the club. He will take up his new position in Japan in July.
Ackermann told the Gloucester Rugby website that it had been a privilege for him to coach the side for three years.
“I have loved every minute of it,” said the former lock forward.
“Working with such a fantastic group of players and coaches has been a great experience. I will always cherish the memories I have made at Kingsholm. I wish the club nothing but the best.”
David Humphreys, the Director of Rugby at Gloucester, said he was sorry to see Ackermann leave.
“In his three years at Gloucester, Johan transformed the way we play the game and his ‘play to inspire’ philosophy will leave a lasting impact from his time at the club. I know it was a difficult decision for him to leave the club and I’ve no doubt he’ll make a real difference with the Red Hurricanes.”
Ackermann joined Goucester at the start of the 2017/18 season and took them to the final of the European Challenge Cup in his first season. The following season the club finished third in the Premiership, qualifying again for European Champions Cup rugby.