Coetzee: Ackermann a loss to SA

Mon, 03 Apr 2017 21:05

REACTION: Springbok coach Allister Coetzee described the pending departure of Johan Ackermann to Gloucester as a "loss" to South Africa.

Coetzee, speaking at a media briefing during a three-day training camp in Stellenbosch, said it must have been a tough decision for the Lions and South Africa A-team coach to make.

Ackermann confirmed on Monday that he is to become the new head coach of Gloucester, ahead of the 2017/18 season.

Ackermann, 46, is currently in charge of the Lions but will leave the Johannesburg-based franchise at the end of the current Super Rugby season.

He will replace Laurie Fisher at Kingsholm, after the Australian resigned from his post with south-west club Gloucester last month.

"Johan [Ackermann] has really done well in taking the Lions to where they are now," Coetzee said of the popular coach that took the Lions to the 2016 Super Rugby Final and currently has his team sitting pretty at the top of the Africa Two conference.

"It must have been a tough decision to leave," the Bok coach said, adding: "It is going to be a big loss to the Lions franchise and South African rugby in general to lose a coach that has come this far and matured like he did.

"He has built up a lot of experience and to lose him is not ideal."

Ackermann, who won 13 Springbok caps, has previous experience of the Premiership from a spell with Northampton.

He led the Lions to promotion to Super Rugby in 2013 and to the Super Final last season where they were beaten by New Zealand's Hurricanes.

But he believes moving to England will help improve him as a coach.