John Mitchell resigns from Sale Sharks for personal reasons after only a month in charge

By Ed Owen

John Mitchell has resigned from his post as Sale Sharks director of rugby today, citing personal reasons for his premature departure.

Despite being contracted until the end of the season, the former All Blacks coach has returned to South Africa after only one month in the job.

Steve Diamond, Bryan Redpath and Pete Anglesea will now continue the club’s battle against relegation.

Club owner Brian Kennedy, said: “John was brought in on a consultancy basis with a view to the possibility of being employed in a longer term position within Sale Sharks.

“He has had to return to South Africa for personal reasons which we respect. We are grateful for his valuable and insightful contributions albeit for a shorter term than envisaged.

“Steve Diamond, Bryan Redpath and Pete Anglesea will continue to coach the side, implementing many of John’s ideas, and building on last nights excellent performance.”

Mitchell leaves with Sale bottom of the Aviva Premiership, one point off London Irish following Friday’s victory over Worcester Warriors.

The 48-year-old New Zealander joined the Sharks on November 28 after resigning from South African side Golden Lions five days earlier.

He replaced Bryan Redpath – who is now backs coach with the club – after the former Gloucester man led the side to only one win in nine.

His five-game tenure saw many ups and downs – last weekend’s victory against Worcester was contrasted with a 62-0 demolition by Toulon.

Though the former Sale captain never intended to stay in Britain on a long-term basis – his family is well-settled out in South Africa – his stint was surprisingly brief.  

Image courtesy of Sale Sharks, via YouTube, with thanks

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