Lions suspend coach Mitchell

Johannesburg - The Golden Lions Rugby Union have suspended coach John Mitchell with immediate effect.

This follows revelations that a group of players have presented a 'list of grievances' to GLRU president Kevin de Klerk as a result of the manner in which Mitchell treated his players.

De Klerk, in an interview with the Rugby365 website, confirmed that Mitchell has been suspended with immediate effect.

"The nature of the (players') complaints is so serious that we have suspended him (Mitchell), pending further investigation," De Klerk said.

Mitchell's assistants, Carlos Spencer and Johan Ackermann, will take charge of the team when the Super Rugby competition resumes next weekend.

The Lions' three remaining fixtures this season will see them take on the Stormers at Newlands (June 30), the Rebels in Johannesburg (July 7) and the Bulls in Pretoria (July 14).

The Lions are currently bottom of the South African Conference with two wins and 11 defeats in their 13 matches to date. They lie 14th in the Combined log, one point ahead of the Blues.

They are assured of finishing last in the South African Conference, which will in all likelihood see them be replaced by the Southern Kings for the 2013 tournament.

Mitchell is well known as a hard, no-nonsense type of coach.

A similar scenario played itself out in 2008 when he coached the Western Force when most of the players became fed up of his strict coaching methods. He was also unpopular as All Blacks coach and was sacked after they lost in the semifinals of the 2003 Rugby World Cup to Australia.
Grant Butler 2012-06-22 03:07:56 PM
Along with Mallet my favorite coach on the Planet....not sure what to make of this to be honest...
Gregory Francis Dean 2012-06-22 03:17:29 PM
Interesting times ... who would be a coach?
yb.normal2 2012-06-22 03:18:03 PM
A few months ago, he was some the readers favourite for Bok Coach, now his own Lion's players do not even want him
Raeez Omar 2012-06-22 03:18:26 PM
Im afraid we wont see Mitchell anymore. Things just seem to get worse at the Lions. mxm
Nelius Van Tonder 2012-06-22 03:24:13 PM
REALLY????? He wins you a f**ing Currie Cup and this is how you repay him for lifting the Lions out of the ashes?! If this is the nature of the Lions then I am NO LONGER a Lions faithful supporter. When Mitch took the job he told the players he is hard, and this is his philosophy if you don't fit in then ship out. The rest who stayed accepted his hard ass philosophy and went on to win a Currie Cup!!! For goodness sake if anyone needs to be suspended its the players who complained and most of them in all likelihood is the players dragging the team and Union down! You know what I was always on the front line of defending the Lions with all my passion I will no longer do so! If this is your attitude and grattitude for a coach that WON you the Currie Cup - yes John Mitchel won the Currie Cup NOT the players as the players in that team are a band of rag tag washouts who didnt make it anywhere else in this rugby landscape...John Mitchel took them and made them a championship team! John Mitchel won that Currie Cup...I am ASHAMED of ever rooting for the Lions!
John Loveland 2012-06-22 03:25:08 PM
He certainly hasn't produced a winning team and I haven't heard any other coach whinge as much as he does. Too often after a match instead of commenting on both his and the teams bad performance, he criticizes the ref or the opposing team.
Mattheus Prinsloo 2012-06-22 03:29:32 PM
alles goed en wel om n "hard, no-nonsense type of coach" te wees. MAAR dan beter jy resultate wys met jou span, anders gaan dit net back fire
Fanie Viljoen 2012-06-22 03:35:33 PM
And what would the REAL reason be?
Tiaan Liebenberg 2012-06-22 03:42:41 PM
'But we are bottom of the log, why can't we go out and get drunk?' Moaners
Pieter le Roux 2012-06-22 03:47:39 PM
Maybe he forced them to watch the Twilight Saga.... :)