Mitchell saga drags on

Tue, 11 Sep 2012 16:43
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The disciplinary hearing into allegations of misconduct against the Lions' suspended coach John Mitchell has been postponed until next week.

The disciplinary hearing into allegations of misconduct against the Lions' suspended coach John Mitchell has been postponed until next week.

Golden Lions Rugby Union (GLRU) president Kevin de Klerk explained that the latest delay has come because "the chairperson of the hearing had taken ill."

Mitchell was suspended at the end of June pending an investigation into allegations of misconduct filed against the coach by a number of players and was replaced by interim coach Johan Ackermann.

The internal arbitration started three weeks ago and resumed on Monday.

Mitchell guided the Lions to their first Currie Cup title since 1999 last year, but they ended the recently concluded Super Rugby campaign at the bottom of the log, having won only three of their 16 fixtures.

A month after Mitchell's suspension the union announced the dismissal of assistant coaches Carlos Spencer (backline coach) and Wayne Taylor (conditioning coach).

The Lions' woes were compounded in mid-August when SARU's general council confirmed that the Johannesburg-based side would be relegated from next year's Super Rugby competition.

De Klerk said the Union had since worked tirelessly to find competition for the team ahead of a promotion-relegation match at the end of the 2013 Super Rugby season against the bottom team in the South African conference.

A SARU delegation have since met with the GLRU to discuss ways of managing the impact of the Lion's exclusion from the competition.

“We are moving very fast waiting for assistance SARU offered to us as we need to proceed rapidly to inform our stakeholders,” he said.

De Klerk also said that a meeting to appease former Transvaal and Lions players over their concerns last Friday had gone well.

“I addressed 78 former players on Friday and spoke to them on the state of the union and what we would do going forward,” De Klerk said.

“The feedback at the meeting and afterwards was very positive.” he added

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