Former All Black boss John Mitchell was appointed as the new Bulls Executive of Rugby, which is effectively the director of rugby, on Thursday night at Loftus Versfeld.
The 53-year-old Mitchell, who was in charge of
Mitchell is expected to coach the Bulls Super Rugby team next season, and current head coach Nollis Marais will remain part of the Bulls management team as the Currie Cup coach, following a disastrous Super Rugby campaign in which the three-time champions have lost eight out of 11 matches.
Mitchell is no stranger to South African rugby. He is still based in
His time in
However, he decided to quit soon afterwards and joined Sale Sharks in
Not much more than a month later, though, Mitchell left that post to return to
The Stormers management decided not to opt for Mitchell due to concerns about his man-management following consultations with his previous employers, with WP Rugby president Thelo Wakefield saying at the time that he didn’t want to put “players and the team management at risk (of such problems occurring again)”.
But since then, Mitchell has tried to rebuild rugby in
Mitchell, though, boasted an excellent record at the All Blacks, where he was in charge for 28 matches, with 23 wins, four defeats and a draw.
But he was fired after they lost to
Mitchell was credited with discovering a number of the modern-day All Black greats such as Richie McCaw, Dan Carter and Ma’a Nonu.
He also planted the seed in the turnaround at the Lions from 2010-2012, despite the fall-out at the end, as the Joburgers started implementing the attacking philosophy that sees them as the leading South African Super Rugby team today.
But he will have a huge challenge on his hands to take the Bulls out of the doldrums, with a number of top players having left the
Perhaps a bit of his renowned “tough love”, as well as his status as a rugby mastermind, may be the answer…