South African newspaper Die Burger is reporting ex-All Blacks coach John Mitchell will start his new job as England’s defence coach on Sunday, after the RFU paid a healthy transfer fee to his current employers, the Bulls Super Rugby franchise.
The Bulls have released Mitchell after receiving a reported R3,000,000 – 4,430,000 (GBR£150,000-£225,000, NZD$300,000-$450,000) payment from the RFU, a decent sized buyout for an assistant coach.
Mitchell’s surprise appointment means his Bulls stop is another short-term stay in his growing list of coaching stops, where he has a track record of leaving on unceremonious terms. RugbyPass detailed his documented transgressions when the appointment was first rumoured to be in the works.
There are rumours in English rugby circles that Mitchell is being brought in to be the successor to Eddie Jones following the World Cup next year.
With two firebrand personalities in the room, it remains to be seen whether this arrangement can even last til then with the potential to derail England’s World Cup campaign before it even begins. Mitchell has not held an assistant coaching job since the 90’s, before his tumultuous head coaching career while Jones is known to be an obsessive type.
In other news:
Sign up to our mailing list here and we’ll keep you up to the minute with weekly updates from the world of rugby.