England have held talks around playing a wild card for their World Cup campaign and calling in former Lions loose forward Ruan Ackermann.
Ackermann, who was part of the mighty Lions side that hosted the Super Rugby final in 2017, has been plying his trade at Gloucester since 2017.
The 27-year-old played for the South Africa ‘A’ side in 2017, but now qualifies to play for England on the residency rule.
Ackermann picked up a knee that ended his domestic season during Gloucester’s Champions Cup round-of-16 loss to La Rochelle on 1 April.
However, Gloucester head coach George Skivington confirmed that he has held talks with England head coach Steve Borthwick over a potential call-up for England.
“He is in the England conversation and his form and work he has put in is the reason for that,” Skivington said.
“Ruan does need surgery, but the scans showed it wasn’t as bad as it could have been and the knee has to settle down. It was that 150kg guy rolling through his knee – and that would have finished most of us off.
“We won’t see him again this season, but we have our fingers crossed that the recovery won’t be a long slog like we have had with numerous other players.
“He is a tough character but, like all of us, he is pretty devastated about it. This is the first one that while it isn’t malicious, it was sloppy. It has hurt us and also Ruan because he is on the edge of that England fold.”
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