Ackermann favourite for Lions job

Golden Lions interim head coach Johan Ackermann is likely to replace the suspended John Mitchell on a full-time basis.

Following Mitchell’s suspension in June, the legal battle between the Johannesburg union and the Kiwi coach is still ongoing after several postponements. It’s only expected to be settled next week.

The two parties are likely to agree terms and Mitchell is set to exit after spending two years at the Lions. The 48-year-old was first appointed as head coach ahead of the 2010 Currie Cup, and led the team to the domestic title last season.

President Kevin de Klerk confirmed that if the Lions and Mitchell part ways, the union will carry out a process to find his replacement. But he also hinted that Ackermann will be the favourite choice for the job.

‘Johan has done a fantastic job since he’s taken over as interim head coach,’ De Klerk told ‘He’s kept the players motivated during a tough time and that is showing in the Currie Cup.’

The Lions are currently on top of the Currie Cup log, with only three league rounds remaining until the play-offs.

By Gareth Duncan