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Rugby WA probes Mitchell

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news on 24 Dec 2008 at 20:48
Tagged with : ,

Former New Zealand All Blacks coach John Mitchell has been placed on restricted duties with his Australian team as a judge looks into allegations from players and other coaches about his conduct.

The IOL reports that rugby WA, which runs the Super 14’s Western Force team, said in a statement Wednesday that it had asked retired judge Robert Anderson to “undertake certain inquiries of players, coaching staff and management.”

The Perth-based Force said Anderson will look into “certain assertions which have been raised with Rugby WA (including from players and coaching staff).”

Speculation in local media over the past month has suggested the 44-year-old Mitchell’s straight-talking approach has alienated players.

Mitchell, who has been in charge of the Force since their first season in 2006, is one year into a four-year extended deal.

Mitchell was All Blacks coach from 2001 to 2003, but was not rehired after New Zealand’s disappointing performance at the 2003 World Cup, where it lost to Australia in the semifinals.

“While Mr. Anderson is undertaking his inquiries, Mr. Mitchell will remain the head coach of the Western Force but some restrictions have been placed on his activities as head coach in the short term,” the Rugby WA statement read. “These will not interfere with the club’s preparation for the 2009 Super 14 season.”

Western Force officials did not specify the nature of the restrictions on Wednesday.

Mitchell earlier this week conceded his methods could need changing.

“I have always had an honest and open relationship with the players, and nothing will change,” he said. “Having said that, as a head coach you have always got to look to evolve, and I am always looking to evolve.

“I am contracted until June 2011, and I am totally committed to that contract – I will be meeting my obligations.”


  • Statement by Rugby WA.

    Wednesday, 24 December 2008 11:37am

    In response to recent media articles speculating as to the position of RugbyWA’s Head Coach of the Emirates Western Force, Mr John Mitchell, RugbyWA wishes to clarify the position as follows:

    Mr Mitchell remains the Head Coach of the Emirates Western Force.

    In response to certain assertions which have been raised with RugbyWA (including from players and coaching staff), the Board has:

    (a) Appointed The Hon Mr Robert Anderson QC, a retired judge of the Supreme Court of Western Australia, to undertake certain inquiries of players, coaching staff and management of RugbyWA and to report to the Board on these matters;

    (b) The inquiries by Mr Anderson are being undertaken in accordance with Terms of Reference approved by RugbyWA; and

    (c) RugbyWA has also consented to and participated in a mediation process between Mr Mitchell and the coaching and support staff at the suggestion of Mr Mitchell’s representatives.

    Whilst Mr Anderson is undertaking his inquiries, Mr Mitchell will remain the Head Coach of the Emirates Western Force but some restrictions have been placed on his activities as Head Coach in the short term. These will not interfere with the Club’s preparation for the 2009 Super 14 season.

    Until Mr Anderson has finalised his inquiries and reported to the Board of RugbyWA, RugbyWA does not intend to make any further comment in respect of these matters.

  • Comment 1, posted at 24.12.08 20:52:19 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • BOO!

  • Comment 2, posted at 24.12.08 21:04:05 by PJLD Reply
  • Steyn wants out; Lauaki considers it
    Mon, 22 Dec 2008 10:35

    A World Cup winning Springbok is now believed to be in the middle of negotiating his way out of the Sharks and into France while a powerful All Black could be one of a number on his way to Leeds next season.

    As always Rugby Times brings us the best in Festive season gossip! This week certainly does not disappoint with Frans Steyn once again expected to make a big money move, Sione Lauaki believed to be doing the same and Glasgow expected to try to lure a dangerous pair of brother back home.

    Jack of all trades…

    South Africa star Francois Steyn is currently trying to negotiate an early release from the Sharks.

    Steyn’s representatives are locked in talks with the Super 14 outfit where he is under contract until December 2009.

    The flyhalf/centre is looking to be released following the conclusion of next year’s Super 14 tournament, which ends early in the UK summer, enabling him to link up with a European club in time for pre-season.

    With talk of a salary cap being reduced in the Premiership, which would make his high wage demands even more prohibitive, it is more than likely that France is his only realistic destination

    Several Guinness Premiership clubs have been linked with him in the past, notably Newcastle, Northampton and London Irish.

    But Saints are not in the running and the Falcons and Irish would be priced out of any bidding process, even if they were keen to pursue the World Cup winner.

    Steyn’s people hope the Sharks will view the fact that they would save six months of wages as a big enough incentive to agree to release one of their key players early.

    Saints, though, are looking to strengthen their squad with new signings in a bid to push on next season.

    According to The Loop it was Steyn’s versatility that they were so highly impressed with and the management are believed to be after players who are equally comfortable in covering a number of positions.

    They are looking to back up positions across the board so that there are at least two or three quality options.

    Big player for big money…

    Leeds Carnegie want to make Super 14 star Sione Lauaki one of at least seven big-name signings if they win back their Premiership status.

    Carnegie management duo, Andy Key and Neil Back, have started looking at who is available after winning their 16th consecutive game at Nottingham last weekend.

    Lauaki, the bone-crunching Chiefs and All Blacks No.8, is out of contract next year and Carnegie have asked if he is interested in moving to Yorkshire.

    Another player that they are known to be interested in is Cardiff Blues scrumhald Jason Spice who is facing an uncertain future in the Welsh capital.

    Spice seems to be surplus to requirements at the Arms Park and his availability has alerted Leeds who are looking to make sure they have enough strength in depth in all positions.

    Buying brothers…

    Glasgow boss Sean Lineen is keen on making moves to bring the Lamont brothers, Sean and Rory, back to Scotland at the end of the season.

    Both are out of contract in the summer and have been sounded out by Lineen about leaving their respective clubs, Northampton Saints and Sale Sharks.

    The Loop understand Sean, who has recovered from a career-threatening knee ligament problem, is considering his options and may fancy a chance to return north of the border.

    But Lineen might not get so much joy out of his younger brother, Rory, who is also currently sidelined through injury.

    He suffered severe ligament damage to his ankle during the Heineken Cup win over Montauban earlier this month and is set for four months out of action.

    All indications are that the 26 year-old is looking to extend his deal and stay put at the Sharks for another couple of years.

    Meanwhile, inside centre Rob Dewet, 25, is close to signing for the Warriors. The six-cap Scottish international is currently with Magners League rivals Ulster.

    Believe it or not? Let us know where you think Steyn will end up and who else might be on their way to Leeds…

  • Comment 3, posted at 24.12.08 21:08:56 by sharks_lover Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld sharks_lover
  • @sharks_lover (Comment 3) :

    As the article says:

    Festive season gossip!

  • Comment 4, posted at 25.12.08 07:17:49 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • :mrgreen:

  • Comment 5, posted at 25.12.08 13:01:25 by sharks_lover Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld sharks_lover
  • Steyn should go for a season or 2 he will come back a more mature player and imo will become the complete talent we all know he is capable of.
    After reading Percy’s book the benefits of a move overseas is great.

  • Comment 6, posted at 25.12.08 17:14:41 by CoffeeShopBok;-) Reply
  • @CoffeeShopBok;-) (Comment 6) : agree. There will be an article tomorrow. Merry Christmas 🙂

  • Comment 7, posted at 25.12.08 17:20:44 by robdylan Reply
  • merry xmas dudes. i ate too much lamb, if that is possible for a half greek.

  • Comment 8, posted at 25.12.08 18:00:18 by knersboy Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 7) :

    Cheers Robd you too !

    oh congrats on the visa.

  • Comment 9, posted at 25.12.08 19:15:44 by CoffeeShopBok;-) Reply
  • @CoffeeShopBok;-) (Comment 9) : thanks pal. Huge relief this side

  • Comment 10, posted at 25.12.08 19:51:32 by robdylan Reply
  • Anyone following the cricket?

  • Comment 11, posted at 26.12.08 07:15:47 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 11) :

    yes there is a thread up, I will update now

  • Comment 12, posted at 26.12.08 07:50:53 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Mitchell not ready to quit
    Thu, 25 Dec 2008 12:09

    Western Force coach John Mitchell is not ready to quit his job, despite a pending inquiry. Mitchell has made clear his desire to see out his new four-year contract, despite having been placed on restricted duties after the Super 14 franchise set up an inquiry into rumours that his relationship with players had broken down.

    Western Force officials on Wednesday, for the first time, publicly acknowledged that Mitchell and the Perth-based franchise’s players have serious differences – placing the coach on “restricted duties”.

    But Mitchell, who has been in charge of the Force since their first season in 2006 and is now one year into a new four-year deal, is adamant he is staying on as coach.

    In a statement, released by his manager, John Fordham, Mitchell said that he remained “willing and available” to discuss issues aimed at improving the Western Force’s performance, standing and reputation as a Super 14 rugby entity.

    The statement, further, said: John is eagerly looking forward to evolving the leadership necessary to take the Western Force to its next step up the Super 14 ladder … and to personally playing an important and defining role during the remaining two-and-a-half years of his contract.”

    Media speculation in recent weeks has suggested that Mitchell’s straight-talking approach has alienated players, with some reports even suggested the former All Black coach had already been kept away from training and restricted to “office” duties.

    The Force asked retired judge Robert Anderson to “undertake certain inquiries of players, coaching staff and management”.

    They have also consented to a mediation process “between Mitchell and the coaching and support staff, at the suggestion of Mitchell’s representatives”.

  • Comment 13, posted at 27.12.08 07:44:58 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©

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