Johan Ackermann to become Gloucester coach next season

JOHANNESBURG (AP) Johan Ackermann will leave South Africa’s Lions at the end of the Super Rugby season to become head coach of British club Gloucester.

Ackermann will replace Australian coach Laurie Fisher, who quit the Gloucester job last month.

The 46-year-old Ackermann, a former Springbok international, has turned around the Johannesburg-based Lions since taking charge in 2013. He led the team back into Super Rugby after it was relegated and the Lions’ improvement under him culminated in a run to last season’s Super Ruby final.

The Lions said in a statement that Ackermann’s departure was a mutual decision. He will finish the Super Rugby season with the Lions, who are second in the early-season standings with five wins from six games.