SOUTH African back row forward Ruan Ackermann is set to join Gloucester from Super Rugby finalists the Lions, subject to visa clearance.

Ackermann has been an ever-present in a strong and dominant back row for the Johannesburg based outfit, and moves to Kingsholm after helping the Lions finish as runners-up in this season’s Super Rugby competition.

The son of incoming head coach Johan Ackermann, and rated as one of the top up-and-coming back row talents in South Africa, Ruan Ackermann has recently represented South Africa ‘A’ in their two-match series with the French Barbarians.

And Gloucester can now confirm the back rower’s addition to the squad following the end of the Lions’ involvement in the Southern Hemisphere competition.

Ackermann made his first appearance for the Golden Lions in the 2015 Vodacom Cup, before being included in the Lions’ Super Rugby squad for the 2016 season. He was also called up to the Barbarians squad in the summer of 2016, playing against Samoa at the London Olympic Stadium.

Director of rugby David Humphreys spoke of his excitement to see one of South Africa’s most promising talents develop in the Aviva Premiership in Cherry and White.

‘We are pleased that we have been able to bring Ruan on board, and he will definitely complement our existing resources in the back row, an area where we have real strength in depth and competition for places,’ said Humphreys.

‘Johan of course knows all about the qualities that Ruan possesses, and Ruan himself knows exactly the high standards that Johan expects of his team and his players.

‘Ruan has proved time and time again in Super Rugby this season how capable a player he is, taking on and matching some quality performers, and has also demonstrated his versatility in playing across the back row.

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.