Gloucester head coach Johan Ackermann is leaving the club to join Japanese club NTT DoCoMo Red Hurricanes in July.
The South African arrived at the Cherry and Whites for the start of the 2017/18 season and steered the team to the European Challenge Cup final in his first season.
Gloucester Rugby today announce the departure of Head Coach Johan Ackermann, who will be joining Japanese club NTT DoCoMo Red Hurricanes in July.— Gloucester Rugby (at 🏡) (@gloucesterrugby) May 15, 2020
We are thankful for Johan's time at Gloucester Rugby and wish him the very best in his new role.
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He followed that with third spot in the Premiership the following season to ensure qualification for a second successive campaign in the European Champions Cup.
Ackermann had this message for the Gloucester fans, staff and players: “Being Head Coach of Gloucester Rugby has been a tremendous privilege for me, and I have loved every minute of it.
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“Working with such a fantastic group of players and coaches has been a great experience. I would especially like to thank Martin [St Quinton] for the faith that he has shown in me.
“His support and friendship have meant a lot to me. Gloucester Rugby fans are a truly unique group, and I will always cherish the memories I have of being at Kingsholm.”
Johan Ackermann exit | 4 contenders to replace the South African at Gloucester
Here are four possible replacements for the South African:
1. Stuart Lancaster
Following England’s Rugby World Cup failure in 2015, Lancaster has begun to re-establish himself as a top coach since joining Leinster.
There is no need for him to leave the Irish, where he is having a very enjoyable and successful stint, but increased responsibility at one of English rugby’s biggest clubs?
If Gloucester are willing to meet the compensation requirement to buy him out of his current contract, it must be a tempting proposition.