Defensive coach Mitchell has signed a two-and-a-half year contract extension with England that takes him up until the 2023 World Cup

John Mitchell, former All Blacks head coach, has pledged his future to Eddie Jones’ England team with a contract that will take him up until the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Having joined in September 2018, Mitchell has overseen a successful England team that reached the final of the 2019 World Cup and won last season’s Six Nations.

However, Mitchell doesn’t believe that’s the limit of this England squad, who also picked up the inaugural Autumn Nations Cup in 2020.

“For me this side has so much more potential,” said Mitchell. “We don’t realise, I don’t think, how much better we can get. When we reach our potential, we have the ability to win and do well.

“I really like the mix of experience and youth that is coming through. They give off a really good energy and there’s a willingness to want to get better. That’s what you want to be around. I really feel we have the potential to do some special things here.”

Mitchell expressed his delight with continuing his role within the England set up, 22 years on from his spell as England’s forwards coach. Something he claims ended prematurely, but necessarily for family reasons.

Mitchell said: “I’m really happy to sign this contract extension. I’m thoroughly enjoying my time here with England and working with such a talented group of players, coaches and staff.

“I also think it’s the right place for me to evolve and challenge myself as a coach. I’m learning all the time and that’s only going to help me to improve the players and contribute more. I really feel we have the potential to do some special things here.”

Eddie Jones, who also extended his contract in April last year, has praised his right-hand man for the decision.

“I’m very pleased to have Mitch with us as we work to win the World Cup in 2023,” Jones said. “He adds great value to the coaching staff and player development.”

Although sights are set on the 2023 World Cup in France, the main priority is on retaining the Six Nations. England begin their championship defence in the Calcutta Cup as they welcome Scotland to Twickenham on Saturday 6 February (4:45pm KO).

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