Gloucester head coach Johan Ackermann to join Japanese club NTT DoCoMo Red Hurricanes
Last Updated: 15/05/20 8:36am
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.
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 said: "Being head coach of Gloucester Rugby has been a tremendous privilege for me, and I have loved every minute of it.
"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 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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"Gloucester Rugby fans are a truly unique group, and I will always cherish the memories I have of being at Kingsholm. I wish the Club nothing but the best."
Gloucester Rugby Chairman Martin St Quinton added: "I'd look to put on record our thanks to Johan for the significant contribution he's made to the club over the three seasons he's been with us.
"His infectious enthusiasm for the game, as well as his in-depth rugby knowledge, made him not only a fans' favourite, but a strong leader of our playing department. I wish him every success in his new venture."
Gloucester said in a statement they would use the delay caused by coronavirus to assess the future of their coaching and playing department.
Director of rugby David Humphreys said: "While I'm sorry to see Johan leave Gloucester Rugby, I fully understand his reasons for doing so.
"Johan approached Martin and me to say that he had received a number of coaching opportunities which, for personal reasons, he would like to consider and we agreed to his request."