Vaughan defends Ackermanns following nightclub fight

Date published: December 19 2017

Gloucester CEO Stephen Vaughan has defended Johan Ackermann and his son, Ruan, following the news that they are the subject of a police investigation after being implicated in a nightclub fight which left a man injured.

According to a Daily Mail report, the Ackermanns were allegedly involved in the incident during the early hours of Sunday morning. This, after the Cherry and Whites beat Zebre in a Challenge Cup match at Kingsholm on Saturday.

The allegations against the father and son duo were made by the injured man's family on social media where they claim their relative was "beaten up". They also released photographs showing several cuts and grazes on the man's face and head.

Local police released a statement which read: "Gloucestershire Constabulary is investigating a report of an incident which happened at the 21 Club in Regent Street, Cheltenham, in the early hours of Sunday morning – December 17.

"The allegation is that there was an altercation between two groups of men, during which one of the men sustained facial injuries.

"The incident was reported just before 1.30am. Police officers arrived shortly afterwards but all those involved had left the scene. Investigating officers will be examining CCTV footage this week and speaking to witnesses. No-one has been arrested."

Gloucester has since responded to the allegations, with Vaughan stating: “Gloucester Rugby takes any allegations extremely seriously and we have conducted a full investigation into this matter.

"Having spoken to Johan, Ruan, the club where the alleged incident took place, the police and other independent witnesses as well as viewing subsequent CCTV footage, I am completely satisfied that whilst an incident did take place, it was instigated by others and not by Johan and Ruan as has been incorrectly reported.

"Both Johan and Ruan have been upset and disappointed by the allegations, but do appreciate the support from Gloucester Rugby fans, players, colleagues, friends and family."

The Ackermanns joined Gloucester from Super Rugby finalists the Lions in August and have done well in their new surroundings.

Under Johan's guidance, Gloucester are currently in second position in the Premiership standings as well as Pool Three of the Challenge Cup, while his 21-year-old son was recently named Premiership Player of the Month for November.