Cape Town - Gloucester coach Johan Ackermann says he played a role in enabling John Mitchell to become England’s new defence coach.
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The RFU on Monday confirmed the appointment of Mitchell, bringing an end to the New Zealander's one-year stint in charge of the Bulls.
Ackermann and Mitchell previously worked together at the Lions and the former Springbok lock has hailed England’s decision to appoint Mitchell.
“When I heard the news I spoke to John. I was one of the people he asked to write a reference for him for his visa,” Ackermann was quoted as saying by the GloucestershireLive website.
Ackermann said Mitchell would add value to England.
“It’s great. He’s a technical world class coach. He’s in there for the defence coach but they can tap into other areas as well, he’s a good breakdown coach, he’s a good attacking coach and like I said he’s very good with individual technical stuff.”
It will be Mitchell's second stint with England - he was their assistant coach between 1997 and 2000 under Clive Woodward for 33 Tests.
In his new role at England, Mitchell will replace Paul Gustard who left for Harlequins following the June Test series against the Springboks.
The New Zealander’s tenure at the Bulls came to a premature end as his contract was due to only expire at the end of October 2019. He had a torrid first Super Rugby season in charge of the Bulls, winning just six of 16 games to finish bottom on the South African Conference.
At England, Mitchell will work alongside head coach Eddie Jones.
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