Ruan Ack­er­mann hogs English rugby lime­light

The Herald (South Africa) - - CLASSIFIEDS - Craig Ray

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.

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