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

Kings vs Jaguares
sast: 17h15 | local: 17h15

  • 12 | 13
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Scotland vs Wales
sast: 16h25 | local: 14h25

  • 19 | 13
LIVE
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 25 February 2017
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Ireland v France 16h50 Aviva Stadium
Stormers v Bulls 17h30 Cape Town
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
Thu, 02 March 2017
Force v Reds 10h30 Perth
Fri, 03 March 2017
Chiefs v Blues 06h35 Hamilton
Ulster v Treviso 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Edinburgh v Ospreys 19h35 Myreside
Connacht v Zebre 19h35 Ascoli Piceno
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 20h15 AJ Bell Stadium
Sat, 04 March 2017
Hurricanes v Rebels 04h15 Wellington
Highlanders v Crusaders 06h45 Dunedin
Brumbies v Sharks 08h45 Canberra
Sunwolves v Kings 10h55 Singapore
Lions v Waratahs 13h05 Johannesburg
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 25 February 2017
Cheetahs v Lions 25 | 28
Waratahs v Force 19 | 13
Crusaders v Brumbies 17 | 13
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 17 | 83
Fri, 24 February 2017
Munster v Scarlets 21 | 30
Dragons v Leinster 22 | 54
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 17 | 18
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 18 | 27
Reds v Sharks 28 | 26
Highlanders v Chiefs 15 | 24
Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 18 | 56
Tue, 21 February 2017
CUT-Ixias v Shimlas 13 | 22
Mon, 20 February 2017
UJ v UP-Tuks 18 | 11
Maties v NMMU-Madibaz 35 | 16
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16 | 10
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Reds 1 1 0 0 4
Waratahs 1 1 0 0 4
Brumbies 1 0 0 1 1
Force 1 0 0 1 1
Rebels 1 0 0 1 0
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 1 1 0 0 5
Blues 1 1 0 0 5
Chiefs 1 1 0 0 5
Crusaders 1 1 0 0 4
Highlanders 1 0 0 1 0
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 0 0 0 0 0
Bulls 0 0 0 0 0
Cheetahs 0 0 0 0 0
Sunwolves 1 0 0 1 0
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 1 0 0 1 1
Lions 0 0 0 0 0
Jaguares 0 0 0 0 0
Kings 0 0 0 0 0