Perth - The Western Force Super 14 club has granted approval for head coach John Mitchell to work in a consultancy role with the Johannesburg-based Golden Lions in the 2010 edition of the Currie Cup, South Africa's domestic rugby competition.
Mitchell, a former New Zealand All Blacks coach who is contracted to the Perth-based Force until the end of 2011, was granted permission to work with the Lions provided it allowed him to fulfill his pre-season commitments with the Force.
"John expressed his desire to use his accrued annual leave entitlements to further his coaching expertise and we have allowed him to undertake the role at the Lions with the understanding it will not impact negatively on the Western Force preparations for 2011," Rugby Western Australia chief executive Vern Reid said Wednesday.
"The Lions will give John an insight into another rugby program but he has always indicated that the Western Force is his No. 1 priority and we are confident his impeccable standards in preparing our side will not be adversely affected."
Mitchell will be filling in for Dick Muir, the Lions director of coaching who will be working with South Africa's Springboks during the 2010 Tri-Nations. Muir will return to the Lions during the final four to six weeks of the Currie Cup.
The Lions finished last in this season's Super 14, a provincial competition involving teams from South Africa, New Zealand and Australia, becoming the only team in Super rugby history to go through a season winless.
Mitchell will also spend time with Japanese club Toshiba during upcoming months and will return to Perth in October.