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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Sat, 29 July 2017
Crusaders v Chiefs 07h35 Christchurch
Golden Lions v Griquas 10h00 Johannesburg
Lions v Hurricanes 12h30 Ellis Park
Sharks v Pumas 15h00 Durban
Sun, 30 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 12h30 Bloemfontein
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
SUPER RUGBY
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28