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The Official Media Release of the Golden Lions Rugby Union, reads as follows regarding former head coach, John Mitchell, who has been redeployed as a technical advisor to the Union, and Johan Ackermann has been appointed as head coach. I hope this long and drawn out saga has finally been resloved and the Lions can concentrate on the Lions Challenge and Currie Cup in their quest to regain Super Rugby status.

Golden Lions


The Golden Lions Rugby Union would like to announce a new agreement that has been reached between the Union and coach John Mitchell.Mitchell will, with immediate effect, assume the position of technical advisor to the MTN Golden Lions, with assistant coach Johan Ackermann taking over the head coach position.

Mitchell will enter into a one-year consultancy role, where he will use his expertise and experience to provide necessary technical advice to the MTN Golden Lions. He will work to assist the team in their work towards 2014 Super Rugby reinstatement.

GLRU president Kevin de Klerk is pleased with the new arrangement and believes the team will benefit immensely from the new set-up.“We are looking forward to the future and believe the new agreement with John is the ideal alternative for the Golden Lions,” De Klerk said.

“It is a wonderful opportunity for us to utilise John’s expertise while offering an up-and-coming coach like Johan the chance to deliver and develop.

“We would like to thank John for his contribution to this Union thus far and wish him well for his other endeavours in the future.”

As per the conditions of the new agreement, Mitchell will not consult for any other South African franchise during his consultation tenure at the Golden Lions Rugby Union.

“I am pleased that Kevin de Klerk and GLRU CEO Ruben Moggee have been extremely supportive of my wish to remain on board at the Lions, while allowing me the chance to consider other associations linked to rugby,” said Mitchell.

“I am fully committed to helping the Lions and head coach Johan Ackermann in the rebuilding process. I have unfinished business with the Lions and this new arrangement will enable me to help the team achieve the goals they have set out.”

10 Responses to John Mitchell saga finalised

  • 1

    Welcome to Rugby’s version of a soap opera or reality show. Tune in later for the next episode.

  • 2

    turk @ 1
    even better bru, even better!! Pondering

  • 3

    Never a dull moment, being a Lions supporter

  • 4

    So how do the Lions fans feel about this one? Interesting move by the Lions get to keep the man and utilisize his knowledge as an advisor(which is apparently highly rated in many quarters) but have him more at arms length away from the players and hopefully keep the ones who complained about their treatment happy, or are the guys who complained still at the Lions. At same time Lions avoid paying out compensation if they just ended up sending him on his way, no use paying for someone who is not working for you…

  • 5

    Wonder what Sale Sharks think about this one, it had been reported over last weekend that they were certain he would be joining up with in a few days time as he was “busy negotiating his way out of the Lions”

  • 6

    bullscot @ 5
    think he’ll have more than enough time on his hands to help out at Sale Sharks. maybe thats why his only limitation/s is that he may not assist SOUTH AFRICAN franchise sides!!

  • 7

    Article on bbc takes the line that basically although John Mitchell is now techinal advisor at the Lions he could now also be joining up with Sale Sharks on a permanent basis : http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/rugby-union/20394580 which ties up with what Sale had reportedly said over last weekend. So I guess that means Mitchell could be at even more than ‘arms length’ away from the team and do his advising from ‘over the sea’, why not when we have all the joys of modern technology as far as analysing teams performance and opponents etc, although am not sure how much of helping the Lions back into Super rugby he will be able to from abroad – I guess they reckon this would flow from the team’s performance benefiting from his influence and maybe also having him as an agent/player scout abroad to try attract players to or back to the Lions, as SA super rugby squads are allowed two foreign players?

  • 8

    bullscot @ 7

  • 9

    What about all the foreign based SA players? There are so many options available. I think JM as mentor to JA would be a great idea. Often when one views something from distance, you can see issues better than when you are in the woods so to speak.

    I am still digesting this piece of news.

  • 10

    9 @ Lion4ever:
    Thats part of the group of players was thinking about, but also mentioned the option of maybe 2 top quality foreign players who he could maybe use his influence if any to lure to the club, results is one of the few things that may help the team back if folk are to be convinced that the Lions should be back for 2014 Super Rugby and having lost so many players recently you are going to have to show that you will have the talent to ‘belong’ in Super rugby whether you as fans like it or not.


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