• Ackermann pledges future to Gloucester

    Gloucester have officially confirmed that South African loose forward Ruan Ackermann has signed a new contract with the Premiership club.

    Ackermann initially moved to Gloucester from the Lions in 2017, while his father, Johan, was head coach at the club.

    The 25-year-old has since become a prominent figure for the Cherry and Whites, making 75 appearances over the past four seasons and scoring 11 tries.

    ‘I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to sign a new deal with Gloucester Rugby,’ Ackermann said. ‘This club has become a huge part of my life in England and the past four years, and I am looking forward to being able to share more memories with the love and support of the fans at Kingsholm.

    ‘We are fortunate to have a really gifted squad, and I am excited to keep developing, learning and growing in this environment.’

    COLUMN: Can South African rugby handle the heat?

    Gloucester’s chief operating officer, Alex Brown, said that he is confident Ackermann will continue to develop at Kingsholm.

    ‘We are continuing to build a physical and powerful pack, and Ruan remains a key part of that. He has shown over the last few years how strong he is with the ball in hand, but also in defence, too.

    ‘We know that Ruan will continue to progress as a player and naturally we are delighted that he will be turning out in Cherry & White for years to come.’

    Ackermann’s new deal will make him eligible to play for England on the residency rule, as World Rugby delayed the introduction of the new eligibility laws until the end of 2021.

    Gloucester are currently bottom of the table after winning just one of their opening six games. They next host the Northampton Saints on Saturday evening and could climb one place up into eleventh if results go their way.

    Photo: Harry Trump/Getty Images