The new Lion King unveiled

Mon, 25 Jun 2012 16:17
Large mitchell   ackermann 630 Large johan ackermann drinks 630

Former Springbok lock Johan Ackermann has been entrusted with the unenviable task of taking over as head coach of the Lions.

Former Springbok lock Johan Ackermann has been entrusted with the unenviable task of taking over as head coach of the Lions.

This website can reveal that the forwards coach has been appointed as caretaker head coach in the place of suspended New Zealander John Mitchell.

As revealed by this website last week Friday, the Golden Lions Rugby Union have suspended Mitchell - following revelations that a group of players have presented a 'list of grievances' to GLRU President Kevin de Klerk over the manner in which Mitchell treated players.

De Klerk initially said that Ackermann and Kiwi Carlos Spencer, the backline mentor, would share the coaching duties.

However, on Monday the Lions boss told the players that Ackermann would be the new 'Lion King' and Spencer would remain in his role as backline coach.

Ackermann, in an exclusive interview with this website, spoke of his "nervous anticipation" ahead of a new role that will see most of the key Lions decisions taken by him.

He admitted it would be a "huge challenge" to the entire squad - on and off the field - to remain focused as a group during these trying times.

"Obviously it is not just the change of coach, which is bad, since these are not the circumstances under which you want [to get] this job or get into this position," Ackermann told this website.

He added that the uncertainty surrounding the Lions' future - whether they would be playing Super Rugby in 2013 - was also contributing to the challenge of keeping the players focused.

"However, the players showed they can put these issues aside," the new head coach said, adding: "Hopefully by the weekend all 22 players will be fully focused on the game [against the Stormers at Newlands on Saturday].

"The [GLRU] President [Kevin de Klerk] spoke to the guys and we gave them a long weekend, so today [Monday] was the first day that they were at a training session without John [Mitchell].

"There was uncertainty about what to expect, so that was a big adjustment.

"Hopefully by Thursday they are more settled and used to the changes [in the coaching set-up]. Hopefully we will be competitive this weekend and put up a good game [against the Stormers]."

By Jan de Koning

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 26 August 2016
Golden Lions v Boland 15h00 Johannesburg
Pumas v Griquas 17h10 Kimberley
Sat, 27 August 2016
New Zealand v Australia 07h35 Wellington
EP Kings v Western Province 14h00 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Blue Bulls 16h10 Durban
Argentina v South Africa 17h40 Salta
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 20 August 2016
South Africa v Argentina 30 | 23
Golden Lions v Griquas 24 | 30
Australia v New Zealand 8 | 42
Fri, 19 August 2016
Blue Bulls v EP Kings 49 | 35
Western Province v Free State Cheetahs 25 | 32
Boland v Sharks 20 | 41
Sat, 13 August 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Blue Bulls 43 | 20
Golden Lions v Pumas 68 | 26
Fri, 12 August 2016
Sharks v Griquas 46 | 24
EP Kings v Boland 10 | 28
Sat, 06 August 2016
Boland v Free State Cheetahs 16 | 44
Hurricanes v Lions 20 | 3
Fri, 05 August 2016
Pumas v Sharks 10 | 33
Blue Bulls v Western Province 45 | 26
Sat, 30 July 2016
Lions v Highlanders 42 | 30
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 10 0 5 43
Waratahs 15 8 0 7 40
Rebels 15 7 0 8 31
Reds 15 3 1 11 17
Force 15 2 0 13 13
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 15 11 0 4 53
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 52
Chiefs 15 11 0 4 51
Crusaders 15 11 0 4 50
Blues 15 8 1 6 39
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 1 4 51
Bulls 15 9 1 5 42
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Sunwolves 15 1 1 13 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 14 11 0 3 52
Sharks 15 9 1 5 43
Jaguares 14 3 0 11 18
Kings 15 2 0 13 9