Ackermann: Coetzee is a ‘people’s person’

Date published: May 12 2016

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Springbok coach Allister Coetzee has been labelled as "approachable" by the Lions head coach Johan Ackermann.

The incoming Bok coach is currently on a roadshow where he is visiting all the major South African franchises. 

Coetzee made his rounds at Emirate Airline Park earlier this week and has been impressed with the form of the Super Rugby Africa Two Conference table leaders.

The men from Johannesburg, who have played one game less than the Sharks, are one point ahead of the Durban outfit with six wins from nine matches.

Ackermann, who took over from John Mitchell in 2013, is delighted with the manner in which the national coach has conducted himself while visiting the Currie Cup champions.

"It was a great meeting. Allister is a people’s person," Ackermann told reporters.

"He is a great guy, always funny and it was great for him to meet with the players – he didn’t meet with a selective group, he met with the entire squad. 

"Everybody knows exactly what his expectation is, how he wants to play, what is his idea of attack and defence and breakdown. 

"There is no player who will run onto the field and say. I don’t know what I have to do to be looked at."

Coetzee and his management, which included his former assistant coach at the Stormers, Matthew Proudfoot, was getting involved with training sessions and getting to know the players.

"He introduced the rest of his management, and the players know if they do get involved with the Boks, who is going to be the different coaches."

The in form Lions side are set to face the Blues this Saturday after a bye in Round Eleven.

Players like Elton Jantjies, Jaco Kriel, Lionel Mapoe and Ruan Combrinck will be hoping to continue their excellent form in a bid to get named amongst Coetzee's squad for the incoming June international Tests.

"From a coaching point of view he is very satisfied at the way the Lions are playing, and that is very nice to hear," he said. 

"Hopefully we will have some players putting up their hands. But the next three weeks is all about the Lions and what will follow, will follow. If we as a team play well the guys will get the opportunities."

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