Get to know the former All Blacks coach who could become England's next defence coach.

Who Is John Mitchell?

Born in Taranaki, New Zealand John Mitchell has lead an illustrious and global coaching career and right now he is the favourite to replace Paul Gustard as England’s defence coach.

A former back-rower, Mitchell made his name as a number eight whilst playing for Waikato, a provincial side on the north island of New Zealand. He eventually was given the captaincy of the side and would do so 86 times. He also scored 67 tries for the team.

Mitchell never quite made it into the All Blacks Test side although he did represent the men in black on six uncapped occasions in a Tour of Britain in 1993.

Heading into 1995, he became a player coach for Fraser Tech before eventually retiring later that year. He then pursued a career in coaching which has seen him coach teams across the globe as you can see below.

John Mitchell Coaching Record

  • 1994-1995 – Fraser Tech
  • 1996 – Ireland (Forwards coach)
  • 1996-1999 – Sale Sharks
  • 1997-2000 England (Forwards coach)
  • 1999-2000 London Wasps (Assistant coach)
  • 2000 – Waikato B
  • 2000-2001 – Chiefs
  • 2001-2003 – New Zealand
  • 2004-2005 – Waikato
  • 2006-2010 – Western Force
  • 2010-2012 – Golden Lions
  • 2011-2012 – Lions
  • 2012 – Sale Sharks (director of rugby)
  • 2013-2014 – UKZN (University of KwaZulu-Natal)
  • 2016-2017 – United States
  • 2017 – Bulls and Blue Bulls

Currently he is the Bulls coach, a South African team based in Pretoria and because he is contracted until 2019, if he is to become a coach for England again their will need to be some sort of contractual discussion.

Right now the RFU have refused to comment on Mitchell’s proposed appointment but it has become apparent that they have said they would be willing to compensate the Bulls for bringing him out of his contract early.

What do you make of Mitchell maybe becoming England’s defence coach?

Also don’t forget to follow Rugby World on Facebook and Twitter.