Dispute between Gloucester and Lions could see Franco Mostert miss England v SA Test at Twickenham

Cape Town - Gloucester coach Johan Ackermann says he expects Springbok lock Franco Mostert to arrive for duty at the English club next month.

Ackermann was responding to a report which indicated that the Lions were reluctant to let the player go.

“I’m not going to get involved in the dispute side,” Ackermann was quoted as saying on the Gloucestershire Live website on Wednesday.

The former Springbok, who joined Gloucester as head coach from the Lions in 2017, added: “All I can say is we’ve got the contract and our expectation is for Franco to be here on November  1 and then we’ll take it from there.”

Gloucester announced earlier in the year that Mostert would be joining them from the beginning of the 2018/19 season.

However, the Lions and their CEO, Rudolf Straeuli, are fighting with all their might to keep Mostert at Ellis Park in 2019.

Speaking to the Citizen earlier this week, Straeuli said that the union was intent on keeping Mostert and that there had been irregularities in the signing.

"Franco is still contracted by us and we are still in the middle of a dispute with Gloucester," he said.

"He must honour his contract, with all respect to Franco, but my board told me I must act against Gloucester. His agent had been suspended for three years and it has happened before with Lyon in France, and the second time we said 'no'."

READ: Springbok player agent suspended for 3 years

If Mostert does in fact join Gloucester on November 1, it’s unlikely that he’ll be available for the Springboks’ Test against England at Twickenham on November 3.

The match falls outside World Rugby's Test window and Premiership Rugby rules don’t allow the release of non-English internationals during this period.

“It’s up to us as contract holders to decide that and what the regulation is among the Premiership clubs but at the moment we feel he’ll join us then,” said Ackermann added.