JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 12, John Mitchell (Lions Coach) during the Golden Lions Rugby Union Press Conference from Auditorium, Johannesburg Athletics Stadium on October 12, 2011 in Johannesburg, South Africa Photo by Lee Warren / Gallo Images

Lions coach John Mitchell has been suspended by the Super Rugby franchise, pending further investigation.

The suspension comes after several players laid complaints about Mitchell to Golden Lions Rugby Union president Kevin de Klerk.

The Lions, two-time winners in the Super Rugby competition this year and propping up the SA Conference in Super Rugby, have three games to play in the competition when it resumes next week.

De Klerk on Friday said the Lions would investigate the allegations against Mitchell next week before making a further decision on the coach's future. Mitchell's contract with the Lions runs until October 2013.

The complaints by the players are apparently about the way Mitchell has treated them. – IOL