John Mitchell feels 'emotively connected' to England

2018-11-22 12:08
John Mitchell
John Mitchell (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Defence coach John Mitchell has spoken of his pride at being a part of the England backroom staff again after their recent November internationals. 

Mitchell previously worked as England's forwards coach under Sir Clive Woodward and went on to coach at a number of Super Rugby franchises, as well as being head coach of the All Blacks and the USA. 

The former All Blacks forward was appointed as England's new defence coach in September as head coach Eddie Jones finalised his staff with a year to go until the Rugby World Cup. 

“When I walked back into the England changing room at Twickenham before the South Africa game it had been 18 years since I’d been into that room - I was quite overwhelmed actually as I immediately had an emotional connection," Mitchell told England Rugby. 

“The dimensions of the room where the same but it was a lot more contemporary but I guess what I’m going back to is my apprenticeship came here. 

“For me, I haven’t coached in New Zealand for 15 years and haven’t lived there close to 20 years so while I’m naturally proud of that heritage, it is not probably not really something drives me the most. 

“To get back and be part of England it doesn’t feel like it is just a job, I feel emotively connected and I think that’s come from the past." 

England face Australia in their fourth November international on Saturday, looking for a sixth win in a row against the Wallabies - something they have never achieved before. 

On their tour of Europe so far, Michael Cheika's side have lost 9-6 to Wales but bounced back with a 26-7 win against Italy last week and Mitchell says they are a side they will need to be wary of. 

“The width that they try to maintain on the game, I think every Australian side has always had their backs get enthusiastic based on the platform that’s provided upfront," he added.

Read more on:    england  |  john mitchell  |  rugby


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