Currie Cup

Mitchell: I won't pack my bags

2011-07-07 22:21
John Mitchell (File)
Pieter Jordaan

Johannesburg - "We could also be part of the negativity. Or we can decide to focus on what is within out control - to win rugby games."

After a nightmare week for the Golden Lions Rugby Union (GLRU), it's easy to forget that there is a team that has already sweated it out on the training field in the build-up to the Currie Cup.

The tournament starts next Friday at Coca-Cola Park for the Lions when they take on the Pumas - and Mitchell and his coaching team are planning big things.

The coach is not focusing on what is happening in the boardroom, even though he has pleaded a united front from the union's management on a few occasions this year.

Mitchell says that the split between the GLRU and its partner, GumaTAC, has not made him think about packing his bags.

"It's the last thing I'm thinking of. We have to lead the organisation by focusing on our task - and that is rugby," said Mitchell.

"It's a pity that that relationship (with the partner) was ended. We also need to remember that the agreement was drawn up in such a manner that it promoted the acquisition of players and the development of amateur rugby. And that is where I'd like to see change."

Little has changed for Mitchell and the union's best players - and they could lead the Lions in the right direction by mounting a serious challenge for the Currie Cup.

Their recent 25-28 defeat to the Valke in a friendly game is not a cause for concern as it was a Lions under-21 side that played.

"The Super Rugby tournament is over and we now want to build on the consistency we created in last year's Currie Cup. We will also try to expand our depth in the tournament," he said in reference to the young players that may still get an opportunity to play in the tournament.

Mitchell said that the Lions' playing squad had been cut considerably in weeks leading into the Currie Cup.

Only players that are Super Rugby contenders will be kept.

GumaTAC said last week after the split with the GLRU that the union had up to 90 contracted players, of which some were not even participating in training.

Scrumhalf Rory Kockott and flyhalf André Pretorius have also left to play their rugby in France.

There have been no acquisitions ahead of the Currie Cup, but the Lions have enough depth to be considered Currie Cup contenders.

The absence of contracted Springboks from the Sharks, Western Province and Blue Bulls could pave the way for the Lions and Cheetahs to have a good Currie Cup.

Wing Lionel Mapoe and New Zealand backline player James Kamana are injured and will therefore not be able to play against the Pumas next Friday.

Flank Michael Rhodes still has to serve out his full suspension for foul play in the Super Rugby match against the Highlanders.

Tighthead prop Kevin Buys will not play in the Currie Cup this year after injuring his knee on the Lions' Australasian tour.
 

Read more on:    currie cup  |  john mitchell  |  johannesburg
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
23 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
28 May 2016
Western Province v Griquas, Cape Town 12:15
Blue Bulls v Leopards, Pretoria 14:15
Xerox Golden Lions v EP Kings, Johannesburg 15:00
Windhoek Draught Welwitschias v Griffons, Windhoek 16:00
03 June 2016
EP Kings v Cell C Sharks XV, Durban 19:00
04 June 2016
Griffons v Blue Bulls, Welkom 13:00
Pumas v Xerox Golden Lions, Nelspruit 15:00
Griquas v Free State XV, Kimberley 17:05
Leopards v Western Province, Potchefstroom 19:00
10 June 2016
Blue Bulls v Cell C Sharks XV, Pretoria 19:00
SWD Eagles v Border Bulldogs, George 19:00
11 June 2016
Hino Valke v Windhoek Draught Welwitschias, Kempton Park 14:10
Xerox Golden Lions v Griquas, Johannesburg 15:00
16 June 2016
Border Bulldogs v Boland Cavaliers, East London 15:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

The new-look Currie Cup format for 2016 is,

 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

As the Absa Premiership nears the Christmas break, a little over half the season remains. Who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Which teams will be relegated? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.