Gloucester have announced head coach Johan Ackermann is leaving the Premiership club to take up a job in Japan.
The South African was in his third season in charge at Kingsholm; he led them to the European Challenge Cup final in his first year, followed by successive campaigns in the Champions Cup.
However, he will not be at the helm if the 2019-20 season – currently suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic – is to be completed.
Ackermann is moving on to NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes, though admitted he will “cherish the memories” made during his stint with the Cherry and Whites.
“Being head coach of Gloucester has been a tremendous privilege for me, and I have loved every minute of it,” Ackermann said in a statement from Gloucester.
“Working with such a fantastic group of players and coaches has been a great experience.
“I would especially like to thank [Gloucester chairman] Martin [St Quinton] for the faith that he has shown in me. His support and friendship have meant a lot to me.
“Gloucester rugby fans are a truly unique group, and I will always cherish the memories I have of being at Kingsholm. I wish the club nothing but the best.”
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