Mitchell: ‘Vendettas against me in SA’

Date published: January 8 2016

New USA head coach John Mitchell has said that vendettas against him in South Africa forced him to move on.

Mitchell has been working in the country as a TV analyst after his time coaching the Lions.

The former All Blacks boss was in contention to become the new head coach of the Stormers prior to the appointment of Robbie Fleck on an interim basis for the 2016 season.

His non-appointment has been linked back to the rumours of players' dissatisfaction with Mitchell's methods at the Lions, although he was cleared of all allegations of poor treatment in 2012.

Mitchell believes he is now better off to have taken a role with the USA rather than remaining in South Africa.

"At the end of the day I've never been charged with any of the allegations. It's only perception only. I've had to deal with a fair bit of politics in my time but I'm heading into an environment where there is stability above me," Mitchell told Radio Sport.

"The Lions situation was orchestrated. I was basically cleared of all 28 allegations and clearly [President of the South African Rugby Union] Oregan Hoskin and [Golden Lions president] Kevin de Klerk have still got a vendetta against me here in South Africa. So my expertise isn't warranted.

"This opportunity in many ways is the better of the opportunities, because in many ways in the process of the Stormers it became very evident to me that I think the process saved me."