Ruan Ackermann hogs English rugby limelight
FORMER Lions looseforward Ruan Ackermann has been named as England’s Aviva Premiership Player of the Month for November.
Playing for Gloucester‚ which is coached by Ruan’s father Johan‚ Ackermann will certainly be on England coach Eddie Jones’ radar as a possible national player by 2020.
Ackermann‚ 21‚ is uncapped by the Springboks and never played for the Junior Springboks – South Africa’s designated second team – which clears his path to play test rugby for another nation.
Gloucester are fourth in the standings‚ due in no small part to Ackermann’s bruising play.
Rugby World Cup 2003 winner, Will Greenwood is in the perfect position to assess Ackermann’s qualities having coached him while he played for the Barbarians against the All Blacks.
“The reality is, every successful team needs a Ruan‚ the total team player‚ who has immense work ethic‚ awareness of space and he will always make the important tackles,” Greenwood said.
“I found Ruan epically fit‚ a player who is in unbelievable shape. He is so dynamic‚ tough physically and mentally.”
Ackermann said last month he would consider playing for England if the opportunity arose.
“I’m still young so I can always go back [to South Africa]‚” Ackermann said when asked about his international future.
“But I can give myself a fair shot here and you never know‚ hopefully it goes well and you can create yourself an option of playing for England as well.
“If it doesn’t come and the England door opens up‚ I mean‚ I’m still young and England is a proud nation‚ so why not?”
A panel of experts judged Ackermann as the player who made the biggest impact in the League over the month.
He was involved in a four-way battle for the gong‚ eventually beating Worcester Warriors pair, Josh Adams and Francois Hougaard and Olly Woodburn, of Exeter Chiefs, to the title.