Richard Ferguson

Lions get their first

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Lions, Original Content, Super 14 on 2 Sep 2010 at 09:31
Tagged with : , ,

Former All Black coach John Mitchell has quit as coach of the Force in order to take up a coaching job with the Lions in the inaugural Super 15.

Mitchell took a coaching job with the Lions in Johannesburg for the Currie Cup and almost from the off there has been talk of Mitchell leading the Lions to the Super 15.

The Western Force called a press conference where they confirmed that they had released Mitchell from his contract so that he could coach the Lions in South Africa.

Mitchell said that helping establish the Western Force as a Super Rugby entity was something he would always regard with a high degree of enjoyment and satisfaction.
Mitchell was the Force’s foundation coach back in 2006 but handed in his resignation earlier this year and said that he would leave the Force after the 2011 season.
His time at the Force has been plagued with controversy and two years ago the players revolted against his style of coaching.

Under Mitchell the Western Force showed much promise but frequently failed at the final hurdle and have never reached the play offs. Mitchell will be replaced by Wallabies assistant coach Richard Graham who the Force had already said would be head coach for the 2012 Super rugby season.


  • So will this be enough to convince others to sign?

  • Comment 1, posted at 02.09.10 09:40:56 by robdylan Reply
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  • Mmmmm, I hope this is the only “one” they are right about!!! 😕

  • Comment 2, posted at 02.09.10 09:42:56 by Letgo Reply
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  • Good 4 the lions. They will prob hav 2 make a cc semi in order 4 any1 to consider going 2 them

  • Comment 3, posted at 02.09.10 09:45:25 by RuckingFun Reply

  • Nice! Every game a Saffa team wins, makes it easier for the other Saffa teams to get to the top. I’m convinced that the Lions will fare better in 2011.

  • Comment 4, posted at 02.09.10 09:46:04 by Jarson Reply
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  • @Jarson (Comment 4) : Well they really cant get any worse

  • Comment 5, posted at 02.09.10 09:50:29 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
  • @Jarson (Comment 4) :

    The problem is that they are playing the first round against us..

  • Comment 6, posted at 02.09.10 09:52:20 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • This is excellent news for the Lions. They can only go from strength to strength!

    I reckon one of the items Mitchell would have wanted was a large sum of cash to buy players with…

    Imagine what he could have done with the team if Ludik, Mostert, Alberts, Fourie and the centre that went to the Bulls where still at the Lions…

    Good times ahead for the Snoils!

  • Comment 7, posted at 02.09.10 09:56:16 by Mole Reply

  • Is Dick Muir fired now?

  • Comment 8, posted at 02.09.10 09:58:02 by war1 Reply
  • Give the man time to build as well, no one should expect quick fixes

  • Comment 9, posted at 02.09.10 09:59:47 by war1 Reply
  • @war1 (Comment 8) : Dick is still Director of Coaching…

  • Comment 10, posted at 02.09.10 10:03:53 by Oubaas2009 Reply

  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 6) : But they will still be competing with the C’tahs for the wooden spoon 😛

  • Comment 11, posted at 02.09.10 10:04:15 by Jarson Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 8) : Naj, he is DOR

  • Comment 12, posted at 02.09.10 10:04:16 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
  • Is Wikus van Heerden still hanging around at the Lions?

  • Comment 13, posted at 02.09.10 10:05:14 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 12) : lions should never have hired a Bok assistant coach as their head coach/director of rugby. He needs to concentrate on one thing at a time.

  • Comment 14, posted at 02.09.10 10:07:14 by war1 Reply
  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 13) : yes, in the treatment room, he has quite a bad injury if I’m not mistaken

  • Comment 15, posted at 02.09.10 10:08:26 by war1 Reply
  • @war1 (Comment 14) : True, was never a fan of of the dual job system, both of them are high pressure positions, doing both well cant be possible.

    @war1 (Comment 15) : Wikus is quality, not the quickest bloke around the paddock but an honest grafter he gives his all.

  • Comment 16, posted at 02.09.10 10:11:16 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
  • This is good news for the Lions. I think Mitchell might just be the man to get the Lions back on track again. They are already improving and if they must they can have JS but must leave our other boys alone. With me living in Lions territory and hubby being a Lion, I have a soft spot for them and it’s heartbreaking seeing them do so poorly.

  • Comment 17, posted at 02.09.10 10:21:16 by Nita Reply

  • Excellent news for the Lions. KAK news for the Sharks. 🙁

    This is all the incentive the guys need to go to the Lions. All the boxes for a player have been ticked.

    Enough money on the table “check”
    top quality coach “check”
    team has turned their fortunes around “check”

    Good living environment……. Okay maybe not ALL the boxes have been checked but certainly enough to sway the decision.

    Lions are going to get quite a few players in the next few months.

    John Smit?

  • Comment 18, posted at 02.09.10 10:26:26 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • okey, just a question… with the Spears/Kings coming into the Super comp in 2012 or 2013, who will be religated?? all the unions are scrambling not to finnish last in next years comp, as they will be the automatic choice to be left out…?? and that should have a HUGE impact on the team being relegated as far as funds and players goes. or will the comp be extended to more teams again?

  • Comment 19, posted at 02.09.10 10:27:48 by VanWilder Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 18) : and the sharks dont tick any boxes?

  • Comment 20, posted at 02.09.10 10:28:06 by war1 Reply
  • @VanWilder (Comment 19) : super 16 is on the cards, apparently

  • Comment 21, posted at 02.09.10 10:28:50 by war1 Reply
  • Wickus still struggling with injury.
    John Mitchell is the best signing for the Lions this year.

  • Comment 22, posted at 02.09.10 10:28:58 by Lion4ever Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 18) : i dont think kockott will go back. as far as i know he`s not the greatest of palls with Jano…

  • Comment 23, posted at 02.09.10 10:30:10 by VanWilder Reply

  • @war1 (Comment 21) : good thing or a bad thing?

  • Comment 24, posted at 02.09.10 10:31:32 by VanWilder Reply

  • @VanWilder (Comment 24) : Unsure, people say we don’t have the depth for 6 teams, but this might mean less players going overseas due to lack of super rugby game time

  • Comment 25, posted at 02.09.10 10:32:54 by war1 Reply
  • @war1 (Comment 20) :

    yes they do.

    let’s do a comparison.

    Most money on the table? Lions probably
    Better coach? VERY debatable issue
    Better living environment? SHARKS
    Team on the up? BOTH

    The decider will be playing time IMO. (just ask Hoffman 😉

  • Comment 26, posted at 02.09.10 10:33:05 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 26) : i have to agree. for any fringe player at a super rugby franchise (lions excluded) that needs game time, its not a bad option to go to the land of coca cola…

  • Comment 27, posted at 02.09.10 10:37:16 by VanWilder Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 26) : more professional set up? when players speak about the Sharks set up they invariably say “It’s very professional here” I’m not convinced the Lions can say the same, maybe they need to fix that before trying to buy every South African who is close to being available

  • Comment 28, posted at 02.09.10 10:40:34 by war1 Reply
  • and i still believe that if JPP decides to go, fair game. we should still have enough cash to buy a replacement (Basson for example) and a strong academy and youth sides if in need. dont get me wrong, we will SURELY miss jpp, kanko and smit if they all decided to go (which i doubt) but it will not be the end of the sharks. anyways, jpp and kanko will be sure starters in super rugby and cc, game time should not be a problem…

  • Comment 29, posted at 02.09.10 10:42:14 by VanWilder Reply

  • @VanWilder (Comment 27) : thing is, they will need to look for young fringe players, if they want sustainable success. they need to build a solid base for the future as well

  • Comment 30, posted at 02.09.10 10:42:30 by war1 Reply
  • @VanWilder (Comment 29) : and also when last did the sharks lose a starting super rugby player to another south african franchise? i believe it wont happen easily

  • Comment 31, posted at 02.09.10 10:43:47 by war1 Reply
  • @war1 (Comment 28) :
    HERE being the important bit of that phrase. if they said anything else then they would soon have to say THERE instead of HERE. 😉

    I do agree though. The Lions have lost a LOT of players through “issues” rather than them just being poached. THAT may play into our hands.

    Unless they all believe Dick when he says “things have changed here now.”

  • Comment 32, posted at 02.09.10 10:45:31 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @war1 (Comment 31) : there is always a first time – ask the bulls. (Bryan Habana…) IMO there is only about 3 factor… money, game time and a player wanting a new challenge. And in all that factor my only concern is Smit.

  • Comment 33, posted at 02.09.10 10:50:39 by VanWilder Reply

  • @VanWilder (Comment 33) : the Bok captain under immense pressure in a world cup year, would a new challenge be right at this time of his career?

  • Comment 34, posted at 02.09.10 11:04:57 by war1 Reply
  • Most excellent signing by the Lions.

  • Comment 35, posted at 02.09.10 11:13:44 by Morné Reply
  • @war1 (Comment 34) : and i think that would be the best reason for all of the rumoured players to stay. (isnt that the reason why Brussouw signed on for another year at the cheetahs??) brussouw should be at the sharks after that…

  • Comment 36, posted at 02.09.10 11:31:00 by VanWilder Reply

  • @VanWilder (Comment 36) : dont know about brussow, rumours rumours

  • Comment 37, posted at 02.09.10 11:34:15 by war1 Reply
  • @war1 (Comment 37) : jip, these days a rumour is part of the negotiating process, just to get the teams to up the offers… i remember bakkies, habana and olivier`s alleged move to the sharks a few years ago…

  • Comment 38, posted at 02.09.10 11:38:12 by VanWilder Reply

  • @Letgo (Comment 2) : they can have john smit and jpp to. and rory. i admire john and i am a fan, but two world class hookers in a team is a waste. john will probably only play one more season so let him do it as player coach so he gets his next step in his career going.

  • Comment 39, posted at 02.09.10 11:57:22 by try time Reply

  • Listerine tastes funny…. 😐

  • Comment 40, posted at 02.09.10 12:01:35 by klempie Reply

  • Ding-Dong round 4 of rebuilding begins … Lets just hope we manage to hang on to the players that become top quiality … Janjies , Taute , Killian and we have too keep Vermaak.

    Tough assingnment for John …we’ll see how far we’v come against Province. They out for blood after 2 loses ..

  • Comment 41, posted at 02.09.10 12:04:13 by CoffeeShopBok;-) Reply

  • Tt, you keen to let JP go? Who do we replace him with?

  • Comment 42, posted at 02.09.10 12:24:30 by robdylan Reply
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  • could be the best move the lions have made in a long time. nice to see them coming back to good form. mitchell will create a team that wont be easy roll overs as they have been of late.

    in terms of player buying, i dont mind smit going, with bdup and burden at the helm, we are pretty well covered at hooker!!
    if jjp goes then that will be a sad day for the sharks, so keeping fingers crossed he stays!

  • Comment 43, posted at 02.09.10 12:26:13 by richzed Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 42) : finding a suitable replacement for him will be well difficult! i would like to see more effort being made to make sure that JJP stays rather than the effort made to insure smit stays! as much as i love smit and his value to the team, we have bdup and burden who provide more attack and work rate on the field.

  • Comment 44, posted at 02.09.10 12:30:41 by richzed Reply

  • The Lions now only need to fix the problems around Ellis Park, so more people go and watch the games. I do want JJP and Kanko to stay, I agree about John, his time for playing is almost up and we need to keep Bismarck.

  • Comment 45, posted at 02.09.10 12:45:56 by Nita Reply

  • @richzed (Comment 44) : JJP should read JP P sorry

  • Comment 46, posted at 02.09.10 15:06:26 by richzed Reply

  • hehe now we have JM !!! next we need to sign a few good players !! then we are on our way !!!

  • Comment 47, posted at 03.09.10 08:23:35 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @richzed (Comment 44) : “well difficult”? You’ve been in the UK too long 🙂

  • Comment 48, posted at 03.09.10 08:33:29 by robdylan Reply
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