VIDEO: Ackermann speaks about getting Bok 'cold shoulder'

Wed, 07 Feb 2018 10:37

WATCH as Gloucester's successful South African coach Johan Ackermann speaks about being ignored in his own country.

Ackermann left the Lions last year, after finding his path blocked in South Africa - despite taking the Johannesburg-based franchise from outcasts (relegated in 2013) to two consecutive Super Rugby finals in 2016 and 2017.

Gloucester, who struggled to make the top 10 of the 12-team Premiership for the last four years, currently sits fourth in the English Premiership.

Ackermann, in a media briefing ahead of their Round 14 Premiership encounter with Leicester Tigers this coming Saturday, was asked if he would be keen to take up the Springbok job.

Allister Coetzee was axed last week (formally announced last Friday) and South African Rugby Union Director of Rugby Johan Erasmus is the caretaker coach.

Ackermann revealed that there has been no communication from SARU with him.

"Obviously things change quickly in the professional game," Ackermann told the media briefing in Gloucester.

"Again, my focus is at Gloucester, this is where I am now and at the moment it stays like that, and therefore I can just control what I can and that is that I know I'm at Gloucester now.

"The reality is my phone hasn't been phoned [by SARU] so I can't give you that answer [about the Bok coach job].

"It hasn't been phoned when I'm in South Africa and it hasn't been phoned while I was in the UK. As long as it stays like that, I'll do my job to the best of my ability."

While Erasmus has been formally named as a stand-in coach, developments in the past week suggested that Southern Kings coach Deon Davids is earmarked to be the official 'head coach' - a type of ceremonial coach, with Erasmus running the show in the background.

rugby365 first revealed in November last year that Davids could be the bolter to replace Coetzee.

Davids withdrew from the Kings' tour to the United Kingdom this week - with his franchise suggesting it was due 'medical reasons'.

However, there was been more than just a few hints that he might be (or have been) in Plattekloof in Cape Town for discussion with SARU and Erasmus about joining the Bok coaching panel.

SARU has given no date for the announcement of the new Bok coaching panel - with England scheduled to arrive in South Africa for a three-Test series in June.

* Meanwhile Ackermann also confirmed that Lions players Ruan Dreyer and Rohan Janse van Rensburg - also on the peripheral of Bok selection - had been discussed in terms of potential new signings for the club.

However, he added that he did not want to discuss it publicly.

"I think it would be unfair for me to speak about those players and contract situations.

"Obviously, it is an ongoing process between the agents and David [Humphreys, Gloucester Director of Rugby] over what players are available and again, there are so many factors that are involved.

"There are families involved, it is money that is involved. A lot of those names did come across our table but also there are certain regulations and stuff."

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