John Mitchell leaves Sale rugby club

By The Crowd, The Crowd is a Roar Guru

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    Former All Blacks coach John Mitchell quit as Sale head coach on Saturday after just a month in charge of the English Premiership rugby club.

    Mitchell led Sale to just their second league win of the season against Worcester on Friday, but less than 24 hours later Sale confirmed the Kiwi had left his role to return to South Africa for personal reasons.

    The 48-year-old only joined Sale at the end of November, having previously worked for them on a consultancy basis, as the struggling Sharks battle to avoid relegation from the Premiership.

    Sale owner Brian Kennedy said in a statement: “John was brought in on a consultancy basis with a view to the possibility of being employed in a longer term position within Sale Sharks.

    “He has had to return to South Africa for personal reasons which we respect. We are grateful for his valuable and insightful contributions albeit for a shorter term than envisaged.

    “Steve Diamond, Bryan Redpath and Pete Anglesea will continue to coach the side, implementing many of John’s ideas, and building on last night’s excellent performance.”

    Mitchell has a role as technical advisor at the Johannesburg-based Lions team in Super Rugby, having been moved from his position as head coach following a legal wrangle.

    © AFP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (25)

    • December 30th 2012 @ 8:53am
      ScotandProud said | December 30th 2012 @ 8:53am | ! Report

      The only person who should leave Sale ASAP is Steve Diamond. In the space of a year he has almost completely gutted the club.

    • Roar Rookie

      December 30th 2012 @ 9:27am
      Neuen said | December 30th 2012 @ 9:27am | ! Report

      Leaving one club in a relegation battle to join another who ain’t in the Super Rugby tournament anymore presumably he is heading back to the Lions or he is he going to help out the Kiwi’s at the Kings and see how many guys he can insult in three months. Because I can bet they are going to do much worse than his young Lions

    • December 30th 2012 @ 9:34am
      Atawhai Drive said | December 30th 2012 @ 9:34am | ! Report

      It would be good to get some reaction from the Sale players.

      Perhaps they will just utter a huge collective sigh of relief.

      • December 30th 2012 @ 11:50am
        Colin N said | December 30th 2012 @ 11:50am | ! Report

        I don’t know, by all accounts, the players rated him as a coach.

        Considering what a shambles it has been for Sale this seaosn off the field, the players have been impeccably behaved.

        • December 30th 2012 @ 12:25pm
          FTR said | December 30th 2012 @ 12:25pm | ! Report

          Impeccaby behaved?

          Apart from losing 90% of their matches of course!

          • December 30th 2012 @ 1:35pm
            Colin N said | December 30th 2012 @ 1:35pm | ! Report

            Erm, yeah, off the field. I thought that it was pretty obvious what I was referring to.

            They could quite easily be outspoken about the whole farcical situation, but they haven’t.

            I suppose you could link behaviour and performance, but I think you’re getting confused.

    • December 30th 2012 @ 1:09pm
      Cantab said | December 30th 2012 @ 1:09pm | ! Report

      He’s an old school hard man, only good for when your team needs a good kick up the behind, pretty much why he got the most out of the chiefs.

      • Roar Guru

        December 30th 2012 @ 3:49pm
        stillmissit said | December 30th 2012 @ 3:49pm | ! Report

        Cantab: There appears to be no room for coaches who go against what the senior players want these days. Mitchell has taken on some tough tasks (or maybe thats all he can get). Kiwi coaches with a couple of exceptions ie Gatland, struggle out of NZ as they are used to players who do what they are told and have some respect for the coaches position. If only it was so in Australia…….

        • December 30th 2012 @ 6:04pm
          Hightackle said | December 30th 2012 @ 6:04pm | ! Report

          Kiwi coaches struggle out of NZ? Gatland, Cotter, Kirwan, Schmidt, Penny, Plumtree to name a few. NZ coaches dont struggle overseas. Mitchell also had trouble in NZ.
          Some kiwi coaches have problems overseas with players like Deans has had with a few rogue players in Aust, this is true but its not just kiwi coaches that have problems with cry baby, divisive, irresponsible, egocentric players that blame others for their weakness and inability to tackle or adapt.

          • Roar Rookie

            December 30th 2012 @ 9:21pm
            Neuen said | December 30th 2012 @ 9:21pm | ! Report

            Is Plumtree still considered a Kiwi? Considering he played in SA most of his career and played under Ian Macintosh.

            • December 30th 2012 @ 11:12pm
              atlas said | December 30th 2012 @ 11:12pm | ! Report

              Played for Taranaki NPC, later for Hawkes Bay NPC.
              Coached Wellington’s NPC side for six seasons 2001-06.
              Also coached in Wales five seasons (Swansea 1997-2001).
              Imagine he still calls himself a New Zealander when asked.

              • Roar Rookie

                December 31st 2012 @ 1:30am
                Neuen said | December 31st 2012 @ 1:30am | ! Report

                Played for Natal from 1988 to 1997 where he spent most of those years under Ian Macintosh and was part of the Natal squad who the South African domestic competition for the first time in a 100 years on their centenary. He relocated to SA where he is married to his South African wife. He also played for the South African 7 side in 1994 and 1995. That is why I asked.

                Talking about Mitchell building a place in Durban ain’t that the same place Campo have been setting up shop?

            • December 31st 2012 @ 1:35am
              Hightackle said | December 31st 2012 @ 1:35am | ! Report

              If you lived for about 30 years out of 47 in your country of birth I would guess you would say you are from there but who knows?

              • Roar Rookie

                December 31st 2012 @ 2:00am
                Neuen said | December 31st 2012 @ 2:00am | ! Report

                Hi Hightackle

                I think you misunderstood what I meant. You are right if he walks like a Kiwi, talks like a Kiwi and love his woman like a Kiwi he is a Kiwi. Can’t change that never will. But it is not what I meant. I am talking about his influences basically. He spent most of his professional rugby carreer under a South African coach and was probably influenced a lot by him and the 10 odd years he spent in South Africa. So his coaching will have a lot of South African influence into it. So I basically mean he coaching style is it very much the NZ way of coaching teams or do it tends to go more to the South African method. I do see a bit of Kiwi counter attacking in the Sharks which is a thing NZ used since the 80’s with great effect and that is to counter and punish teams on the turn over. That is the NZ old school so to speak but I also see a lot of SA influence in the way his team go about.

            • December 31st 2012 @ 2:58am
              Hightackle said | December 31st 2012 @ 2:58am | ! Report

              He played rugby in NZ longer than in SA, maybe not pro but… He has also coached more out of SA than in it too hasnt he?

              • Roar Rookie

                December 31st 2012 @ 4:54am
                Neuen said | December 31st 2012 @ 4:54am | ! Report

                He has. But who do you think who would have made the biggest impact on his mentality and approach to a game? For Tarnaki who he played 40 matches for and played for 3 years, 14 matches for Hawke’s Bay playing them for one year or for Natal whom he played 80 matches over a period of nine years winning two domestic titles? He signed on as a player coach at Swansea, But he was asked the following the question

                Which coach influenced you the most?

                “Ian McIntosh – he was my Natal coach for a long time. His passion for the game rubbed off on me along with his love of Natal rugby. My dad Peter coached the Taranaki cricket side and he was someone who showed me what an enthusiasm for coaching and playing a sport was all about.”

                But here is Mitchell with a young side who’s was out in the rugby wilderness with not so many house hold names going up against Plumtree and his formidable Sharks outfit in the CC final.. Mitchell and Carlos Spencer did a amazing job with them.

              • Roar Rookie

                December 31st 2012 @ 4:57am
                Neuen said | December 31st 2012 @ 4:57am | ! Report

                Forgot to add the video oops

      • May 3rd 2013 @ 1:06pm
        RugbyNZ said | May 3rd 2013 @ 1:06pm | ! Report

        I recall Mitchell came back to NZ to coach and spent 1/2 season with the Chiefs before taking on the AB’S appointment. Ahd at that time the Chiefs were mid table – where they were most years. He did nothing to improve the Chiefs.

    • December 30th 2012 @ 2:56pm
      ScotandProud said | December 30th 2012 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

      I think Mitchell took one look around and thought “maybe not..”

    • December 30th 2012 @ 4:36pm
      Cliff (Bishkek) said | December 30th 2012 @ 4:36pm | ! Report

      I think when you read the article – it says “Back to Sth Africa for personal reasons”. So until fact or fiction arises, then that could well be the cause.

      Players – apart from NZ players — AUS IS A BIG EXAMPLE OF PLAYER POWER – are prima-donnas and do not like being told WHEN THEY ARE CRAP.

      I think Stillmissit is on the money. But until the reasons are confiremd – if they ever will be – then comment is cheap.

      Mitchell did well for the Force (with what he had) and he took the Lions along quite well – Currie Cup – but the players are the main cause of trouble — IT IS ALL PLAYER POWER. And Mitchell does not BEND – he sticks to his Guns and on top of that if the past and now is FULLY PLAYER POWER — then I have no time for the Management that allows it to happen.

      So as it is Sunday – and sitting in Istanbul Airport on my way back to Ghana – then that is all for today

      Happy New Year to All

      • December 30th 2012 @ 11:15pm
        atlas said | December 30th 2012 @ 11:15pm | ! Report

        the ‘personal reasons’

        Mitchell’s family has remained in South Africa.

        That sounds a good enough reason; his tenure with Sale was, as article states, consultancy role.

        • December 31st 2012 @ 12:56am
          Colin N said | December 31st 2012 @ 12:56am | ! Report

          Yes, the reason Mitchell has gone back is because his family has remained in South Africa and I think he’s building a house in Durban. But that begs the question, why did Sale even bother, as it looks like Mitchell wasn’t ever committed to going there beyond a couple of months?

          I could understand it if he had come in and both parties stated the exact timeframe he would be around, but he was supposed to be a more permanent appointment, or at least that’s what everyone was told.

          Presumably, that’s what the players thought as well, so it must be incredibly frustrating being in their position.

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