England defence coach John Mitchell has earned praise from his former boss and the English media after his side’s statement Six Nations victory over Ireland.
Former All Black and All Blacks head coach Mitchell joined Eddie Jones’ staff last September and has been credited as the mastermind behind “the white wall that nullified” Ireland’s attack over the weekend.
Sir Clive Woodward was among those offering praise to England head coach Eddie Jones and Mitchell for their efforts.
Mitchell coached under Woodward during his first stint with England’s from 1997 to 2000.
“Ireland had no answer and it has been a while since we have said that,” Woodward wrote in his column for The Daily Mail.
“So hats off to Eddie, after a poor 2018, and his defensive coach John Mitchell, to go and win in a place where the All Blacks got seen off in the autumn series.”
Mitchell left his role as director of rugby at the Bulls’ Super Rugby side to join Eddie Jones’ England staff last year.
According to a report in The Times from September last year, Mitchell is earning £300,000 for his role with England, who had to pay the Bulls £200,000 compensation to release the coach mid-contract.
British tabloid The Daily Star believe that Mitchell has already returned on that investment.
“England’s secret weapon for the Six Nations and World Cup later this [year] has taken just one wondrous game to be revealed,” The Daily Star‘s Jeremy Cross wrote.
“Kiwi John Mitchell was appointed at great expense to become Eddie Jones’s defence coach.
“But Mitchell has paid back the RFU already in the wake of England’s stunning thumping of Ireland in Dublin.
“Mitchell orchestrated a white wall that nullified what was the most potent attacking force in European rugby in 2018.
“The win was quite a statement and if Mitchell and Jones continue to work magic like this, England are serious contenders to become world champions again.”
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