Ruan Ackermann: Gloucester forward having flashbacks after South Africa gunpoint robbery

Ruan Ackermann has scored two tries in 17 appearances for Gloucester this season

Gloucester forward Ruan Ackermann says he is having “flashbacks” after being robbed at gunpoint in his native South Africa last month.

The 24-year-old, son of the club’s head coach Johan, was in Pretoria during the Premiership’s Six Nations break.

“I see a hand coming into my car and my brother’s being held with a gun against his head and, as I turn, a gun is against my head,” Ackermann said.

He told BBC Points West: “From there everything just goes into shock mode.”

Ackermann and his brother had belongings stolen but said it would not stop him returning to South Africa.

He will make his first Gloucester appearance since the incident in their Premiership match against Exeter on Friday.

“All you’re hoping is he doesn’t pull the trigger – whatever he asks for you give him. It could’ve gone so much worse,” said Ackermann, who has scored 11 tries in 58 appearances since moving to Gloucester with his father from Super Rugby’s Lions.

“Sleeping, you get a lot of flashbacks – the night of the incident – you can’t sleep and then the longer it goes on the more stuff comes to your head.

“What happened, what could have happened and how quickly your life can be taken away from you.”

From next season Ackermann will be eligible to play for England and, while he still harbours hopes of representing the Springboks, he is open to the possibility of wearing the shirt of his adopted home.

“You always have thoughts of playing for your home country – where your heart is, where you grew up and where your culture is but, in this modern day, you just need to follow where you think, as a career, will be best.”

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