On his departure after Super Rugby
It was announced today that by mutual consent the Lions Rugby Company (Pty) Ltd and Johan Ackermann will be parting ways at the end of the 2017 Super Rugby season.
Ackermann has been nothing but outstanding in his time at the Lions and an intricate part of the Lions resurgence. The 2017 Super Rugby season is no different as the Union’s inspiring message to drive fans to #BeThere has seen outstanding numbers of fans attend matches at Emirates Airline Park.
In his letter addressed to the Lions Ackermann stated that “I have [however] come to a crossroad in my career and believe that my coaching journey needs to change in order for me to grow [as a coach]”.
Ackermann was appointed head coach of the Lions in 2013 after being an assistant coach to the Super Rugby side since 2010.
Under his watch, the Lions to date have played in 112 matches which include 57 Super Rugby games: 34 wins, 24 losses, 1 draw, and 55 Currie Cup match. He has been selected as SA Rugby Coach of the Year for the last three consecutive years and coached the SA A side in 2016.
“Coach Ackers” as he is called won 7 out of 16 games in his first tenure as coach in 2014 – the most games they have ever won since 2000 and in 2015 the Lions also achieved wins in 9 out of 16 games – the most Super Rugby matches they have ever won since the inception into Super Rugby. In 2016 Ackermann as Head Coach took the Emirates Lions to Wellington facing the Hurricanes in the final of the Vodacom Super Rugby.
As a player, Ackermann represented a number of high-profile teams in over 180 matches as well as the Springboks in 13 test matches.
“I honour and respect the decision and wish him all the best. I hope he grows in this new chapter of his career and returns to South Africa an even better coach. Ackers is a valuable asset to the Lions, our community and our culture and more importantly to SA Rugby. Johan will be missed, but we have experienced coaches in our structures and that will ensure continuity,” concludes Rudolf Straeuli, Chief Executive Officer at the Lions Rugby Company (Pty) Ltd.