Sharks couldn't afford Mitchell

2014-12-04 14:01
John Mitchell (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Former All Black, Western Force and Golden Lions coach John Mitchell has revealed that he was approached by the Sharks for a job but they could not afford him.

Mitchell recently released an autobiography, Mitch: The Real Story.

In the book he reveals that he has had several offers to coach in recent times, among them coming from the Sharks.

However, Mitchell said he will only return to coaching if the right opportunity arises.

In the book he wrote: "My next organisation in rugby, if there is to be one, would be an environment where I don't have to deal with the bulls**t that floats around.
"I have been approached several times during my sabbatical, among them by the Southern Kings. I think there is potential in the team, but it is just not settled enough. I would not enjoy another Western Force or Lions situation.
"In the South African context, the Bulls and the Sharks seem the most stable of the franchises, but I strongly suspect the Sharks are running out of money, which could be problematic for the game in this country."

In an interview with the Rugby365 website, Mitchell explained why he thought the Sharks were becoming a cash strapped union.

Mitchell mentioned the Sharks' financial issues that have been splashed in the media of late. He said the Sharks were talking to him about potentially running their junior programme but negotiations broke down because they couldn't afford him at that particular time.

Mitchell, who currently lives in Pietermaritzburg, also revealed that he has decided not to undertake a second term at the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Varsity Shield team, the UKZN Impi. He will instead focus on his business - a packaging machine manufacturing company.

After parting ways with Jake White earlier this year, the Sharks recently announced the appointment of Gary Gold as their new Director of Rugby.

The 50-year-old Mitchell has vast coaching experience. After his role as England assistant coach, he coached the Chiefs during the 2001 Super 12 competition. He was named All Blacks coach in 2002, a position he held until they were eliminated at the semi-final stage of the 2003 Rugby World Cup. He then coached the Western Force from 2006-2010, before taking charge of the Golden Lions between 2010 and 2012.

The Lions won the Currie Cup in 2011 under Mitchell coaching tutelage.

*Mitch: The Real Story (Zebra Press) is available at leading bookstores and makes good Christmas stocking fare for rugby enthusiasts.

Read more on:    sharks  |  john mitchell  |  durban  |  rugby

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