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By Adam Ellis
South Africa native Ruan Ackermann has admitted his is open to exploring the possibility of representing England in international colours having joined Gloucester in the summer.
The number 8 could squeeze himself into contention for the Red Rose shortly before World Rugby alters the residency rule in 2020 from three years to five years in order to qualify.
“I’m still young so I can always go back (to South Africa),” the 21-year-old told Kwese Sports.
“I can give myself a fair shot here [in England] and you never know, hopefully it goes well and you can create yourself an option of playing for England as well.”
Ackermann joined his father, Johan, in leaving the Lions to move to Kingsholm at the conclusion of the Super Rugby season earlier in the year, and the former South Africa A representative said England would be a welcome alternative should the Springboks leave him in the dark.
“But if it doesn’t come and the England door opens up, I mean, I’m still young and England is a proud nation, so why not?”
Ackermann is in line to feature for the Barbarians against the All Blacks at Twickenham on Saturday.