Springboks prop Ruan Dreyer has confirmed a return to the Lions in Johannesburg 13 days after Gloucester announced he would be leaving Kingsholm following the departure of the head coach, fellow South African Johan Ackermann. 

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Capped four times in 2017, 29-year-old tighthead Dreyer made the move to England the following year. However, his appearances at the Gallagher Premiership club were limited and he is now heading back to his former Super Rugby club to try and revive his fortunes.  

In a short video message posted on the Lions’ Twitter page, Dreyer said: “I’m really excited to return. Me and my family really missed the Lions. 

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RugbyPass brings you Away Days, an afternoon spent among the fans at Gloucester’s Kingsholm

“We have missed Jo’burg and we really miss spending time at Emirates Airline Park. We are very excited to return back home, just to make you guys proud again, and hopefully we can fill up the stadium quite soon again.”

Confirmation that Dreyer has sorted out his future is further confirmation that the South African influence at Gloucester, the 2019 Premiership semi-finalists, is very much on the wane following the untimely exit of Ackermann, especially in the pack.

Locks Franco Mostert and Gerbrandt Grobler, along with hooker Franco Marais, have also all left the club thrown unto turmoil by Ackermann’s decision to quit for a stint in the Japanese Top League, a departure soon followed by the exit of David Humphreys, the long-serving director of rugby who had appointed Ackermann in 2017 in succession to Laurie Fisher.   

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Dreyer appeared in successive Super Rugby finals, losing to the Crusaders in 2017 on a team coached by Ackermann and again in 2018 under Swys du Bruin. His first cap came against France in June 2017 under Allister Coetzee but he didn’t get a look in under Rassie Erasmus who guided the Springboks to World Cup glory last November before handing the reins to Jacques Nienaber.   

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