Gloucester Rugby have begun their search for a new head coach as Johan Ackermann departs for Japanese side NTT Docomo Red.
The South African had been in charge of Gloucester since the start of the 17/18 season. Ackermann led Gloucester to the Challenge Cup final in his first season but lost the match in heartbreaking style. A last-minute penalty for the Cardiff Blues gave the Welsh side 31-30 win.
The Cherry and Whites were in ninth position this season until the Covid-19 pandemic forced the competition to be halted.
Gloucester Rugby today announce the departure of Head Coach Johan Ackermann, who will be joining Japanese club NTT DoCoMo Red Hurricanes in July.
We are thankful for Johan’s time at Gloucester Rugby and wish him the very best in his new role.
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— Gloucester Rugby (at 🏡) (@gloucesterrugby) May 15, 2020
The decision to leave the Gloucestershire side was for ‘personal reasons’ according to Gloucester’s director of rugby David Humphreys. However, before the pandemic outbreak the Cherry and Whites had only won four matches from 13. Strong rumors were emerging that the players had expressed their concerns to the hierarchy about the current regime.
Despite this, Ackermann described his time working at Gloucester as a ‘tremendous privilege’
“Working with such a fantastic group of players and coaches has been a great experience,” Ackermann said,
“Being head coach of Gloucester Rugby has been a tremendous privilege for me, and I have loved every minute of it.
“Gloucester Rugby fans are a truly unique group, and I will always cherish the memories I have of being at Kingsholm.”
Ackermann’s decision to leave Gloucester will certainly leave supporters feeling a sense of dejection. But, Cherry and Whites fans will all agree that the South African’s philosophy will leave a lasting impact on the club for a long time.
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