Melbourne - Western Force coach John Mitchell has been placed on restricted duties after the Super 14 team appointed a retired judge to investigate his relationship with his players and coaching staff.
Local media have reported in recent weeks that Mitchell's relationship with his players had broken down.
Rugby WA, which runs the franchise, said in a statement on its website on Wednesday that it had appointed retired judge Robert Anderson to "undertake certain inquiries of players, coaching staff and management of Rugby WA. "Whilst Mr Anderson is undertaking his inquiries, Mitchell will remain the head coach of the Western Force but some restrictions have been placed on his activities. These will not interfere with the club's preparation for the 2009 Super 14 season."
The franchise added it had also agreed to participate in a "Mediation process between Mitchell and the coaching and support staff at the suggestion of Mitchell's representatives."
Mitchell, a former All Blacks' coach, has been in charge of the Force since their debut in the Super 14 in 2006 and has a contract through until the end of the 2011 season.