Australian Super 14 outfit Western Force are reportedly in turmoil after some of the team’s senior players fell out with their belligerent coach John Mitchell.
Rugby 365 reports that according to the Sunday Telegraph, Mitchell faces a possible player revolt after personality clashes between the former All Black coach and some of the team’s key players escalated to near breaking point.
The drama has allegedly split the Force dressing room, and some of the team’s key players have reportedly compiled a ‘dossier’ of gripes against Mitchell.
This document will be presented to the Western Force board at their next meeting, via player representative board member John Wellborn.
“I caught up with the players recently and also the CEO Greg Harris and had a chat about any issues they’ve got,” Wellborn told the Sunday Telegraph.
“The players have got a number of issues. Some of those are around the coaching structure, some of them are around administration.
“The players are very keen to do well next year and to have some input into how that can happen.
“One of the standard items on the agenda of any board meeting is a report from the players.”
The problems at the Force have seemingly been a long time coming, and a bust-up between Mitchell and the players allegedly occurred during the Force’s final Super 14 game of the season – a home match against the Brumbies in May.
During the half-time break, Mitchell stormed out of the changing room, which allegedly caused star flyhalf Matt Giteau to call on a team-mate to “lock the door behind him”.
The matter will now have to be resolved by the Western Force board, and Chief Executive Greg Harris is keen to keep the details of the issue in-house.
“If there are any issues with the players, and I’m not saying there are, then at the end of the day they’ll have to come through me to go to the board,” Harris said.
“If there was to be anything handed to me, it would be something I would be handling internally and not something I’d be making a comment on at this stage.
“At this stage there’s been nothing presented to me formally whatsoever and until such time as there is, there’ll be nothing out of the board.”
However, another Force official, Team Manager Mitch Hardy, denied any lingering problems between the players and their hot-tempered coach.
“Not one of them mentioned any issues at all with the coach,” Hardy said, referring to the end-of-year reviews he conducted with the Force players.
“You get a bit of scuttlebutt every now and then, there was the whole incident with the Brumbies, but other than that there’s been nothing.”Tweet