Johan Ackermann says his son Ruan is set to stay with Gloucester to keep his options open about the possibility of representing England at Test level in the future.
Ackermann was speaking to IOL Sport after leaving his role as Gloucester head coach to join the Red Hurricanes in Japan as their new head coach.
There was speculation that Ruan Ackermann – who made his senior debut under his father at the Lions before following him to Gloucester – could also head to Japan.
However, Ackermann said his son would be staying put at Gloucester in the hopes of qualifying for England under the residency rule.
‘Ruan is still in England, and staying put,’ Ackermann said. ‘[He] has two months to go before he qualifies to play for England and he’d very much like to have that opportunity as an option.
‘What that might lead to, and what he decides after that, is up to him. He’ll make a call on his career at a later stage,’ Ackermann added.
Ackermann Jr made his Lions debut in 2016 and was a crucial part of the team that hosted the Vodacom Super Rugby final in 2017. After the 2017 Super Rugby season, he moved to Gloucester. In that same year, he represented the South African A team that played a two-Test series against a French Barbarians team.
In his first season with the English club, Ackermann Jr helped Gloucester into the European Challenge Cup final, while domestically he helped the team qualify for the Champions Cup.
Ackermann Jr made 13 appearances for Gloucester in the 2019-20 season, before it was halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The 24-year-old has a season tackle success rate of 93%, missing just 10 of his 124 attempts.
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