The mystery of Mitchell's Sale move

Sat, 17 Nov 2012 19:02
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The mystery surrounding John Mitchell's negotiations to return to Sale Sharks in England deepened at the weekend.

The mystery surrounding John Mitchell's negotiations to return to Sale Sharks in England deepened at the weekend.

Golden Lions Rugby Union President Kevin de Klerk claimed he was unaware of the move by Mitchell to negotiate a way out of his current contract with the Johannesburg-based union.

This despite reports quoting Sale Chief Executive Steve Diamond, suggesting that the former All Black coach, Mitchell, is negotiating with the GLRU and is set to join the Sharks early next week.

Diamond was quoted in the English media as saying that Mitchell will join the Sharks "in the next 48 to 72 hours".

"John's negotiating his way out in South Africa and he's set to join us in the next 48 to 72 hours," Diamond told The Guardian newspaper.

However, both De Klerk and GLRU CEO Ruben Moggee claimed they were unaware of this development.

"He [Diamond] knows of something that I don't know of," De Klerk told this website in an interview on Saturday.

"As far as I am concerned it is business as usual, John [Mitchell] is still the Lions' coach," the GLRU boss added.

De Klerk admitted there has been plenty of speculation in recent times, but they are still expecting Mitchell to turn up for pre-season training on Monday.

Mitchell, who returned to work last Monday after his suspension ended, has a contract with the Lions till 2013.

Later on Saturday the GLRU issued a media release refuting the media reports that Mitchell is set to join the Sale Sharks.

"The Golden Lions Rugby Union would like to report that media coverage today [Saturday], stating that Lions head coach John Mitchell will join the Sale Sharks within 48 hours, is false," the GLRU statement said.

"According to GLRU CEO Ruben Moggee, John Mitchell still holds a contract with the Lions and news that he will depart South Africa this weekend is nothing but foreign media speculation at this point. "

Mitchell initially joined Sale on a consultancy basis this season, with a view to a permanent move.

The former New Zealand coach was still employed by the Lions, but was suspended in June due to allegations of misconduct.

Mitchell returned to work at the GLRU last Monday, following a four month period of absence, and said he was looking forward to his future at the Union.

"I am excited about being back at the Lions and learnt a lot during the time I was away," Mitchell said in a statement.

"I am looking forward to working with the many new faces in the team and I am sure they will bring a lot of energy to our set-up,” he added.

By Jan de Koning

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 24 February 2018
Treviso v Connacht 12h00 Stadio Monigo
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Bath v Sale Sharks 14h30 Recreation Ground
Gloucester v Wasps 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 14h30 Twickenham Stoop
Scotland v England 16h45 BT Murrayfield
Ospreys v Cheetahs 17h30 Liberty Stadium
Scarlets v Ulster 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
Sun, 25 February 2018
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
Fri, 02 March 2018
Blues v Chiefs 06h35 Eden Park
Reds v Brumbies 09h00 Suncorp Stadium
Kings v Dragons 17h35 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Edinburgh v Munster 19h35 Myreside
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 19h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Harlequins v Bath 19h45 Twickenham Stoop
Sat, 03 March 2018
Sunwolves v Rebels 22h00 Tokyo
Crusaders v Stormers 06h35 Christchurch
Sharks v Waratahs 13h05 Kings Park
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 24 February 2018
Lions v Jaguares 47 | 27
Waratahs v Stormers 34 | 27
Crusaders v Chiefs 45 | 23
Sunwolves v Brumbies 25 | 32
Fri, 23 February 2018
France v Italy 34 | 17
Leinster v Kings 64 | 7
Dragons v Edinburgh 12 | 25
Munster v Glasgow Warriors 21 | 10
Rebels v Reds 45 | 19
Highlanders v Blues 41 | 34
Mon, 19 February 2018
NWU-Pukke v UJ 18 | 15
Maties v CUT-Ixias 75 | 12
UCT-Ikeys v Shimlas 27 | 32
NMMU-Madibaz v Wits 29 | 32
Sun, 18 February 2018
Dragons v Treviso 15 | 18
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 1 1 0 0 5
Waratahs 1 1 0 0 4
Brumbies 1 1 0 0 4
Sunwolves 1 0 0 1 1
Reds 1 0 0 1 0
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 1 1 0 0 5
Highlanders 1 1 0 0 4
Blues 1 0 0 1 1
Hurricanes 0 0 0 0 0
Chiefs 1 0 0 1 0
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 2 2 0 0 9
Stormers 2 1 0 1 5
Sharks 1 0 0 1 1
Bulls 0 0 0 0 0
Jaguares 2 0 0 2 0