Cape Town – England defence coach John Mitchell has revealed that he turned down a coaching opportunity at Super Rugby outfit the Chiefs.
In an interview with the New Zealand Herald, Mitchell said he was offered the assistant coach role at the Hamilton-based franchise.
He would have worked alongside head coach Warren Gatland, who recently returned to his home country after coaching Wales.
Mitchell said the job had the added incentive of stepping into the head coaching role while Gatland takes a sabbatical in 2021 to coach the British and Irish Lions on their tour to South Africa.
“Emotionally it felt really good but sitting down with family and looking through it I’ve made the right decision at this time in my career,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell became England defence coach in September last year after ending his tenure at the Bulls, where he was executive of rugby.
He accepted two-year contract extension prior to the Rugby World Cup to stay on as England defence coach under Eddie Jones.
Mitchell and Jones recently masterminded a 19-7 demolition of the All Blacks in the Rugby World Cup semi-finals, before their team lost 32-12 in the final to the Springboks.
– Compiled by Herman Mostert