John Mitchell could leave the Bulls before the end of his contract. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG - The attraction of coaching at a World Cup and the lure of the British pound could prove too much for Bulls coach and executive for rugby, John Mitchell, to resist, and his time at Loftus Versfeld could be coming to an end.

Mitchell’s possible departure from the kraal was confirmed in a statement released by the Blue Bulls Company in which they reveal that Mitchell has divulged that there is interest in his services elsewhere.

Reports are that the Rugby Football Union have their sights set on Mitchell becoming England’s defence coach from their autumn later this year up to next year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan. Furthermore, Mitchell could be in line to take over the reins of the team after the World Cup depending on how they fare under Eddie Jones.

“The Blue Bulls Company (BBC) would like to confirm that John Mitchell informed us that interest was shown in his services, but no formal offer has however been received. The Blue Bulls Company would furthermore like to confirm that John Mitchell’s contract with the BB Co expires on October 31, 2019,” said the statement. 

While Mitchell has made no secret of his wish to stay at the Bulls beyond the end of his current contract in October next year and to lead to the franchise to a fourth Super Rugby title, it is only when the BBC board of directors have given the green light to his strategy of luring top Springboks and a defence coach to the Bulls that the former All Black coach will sign on the dotted line to stay beyond 2019.

“We can only comment when we see an offer on the table. For now we have nothing more to say on the matter,” said BBC board of directors’ chairperson and Blue Bulls Rugby Union president Willem Strauss. “John has our full support into his vision, and we as a board are not split on that.”

Pretoria News

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