Mitchell quits Sale, returns to South Africa

Last updated 08:14 30/12/2012
John Mitchell.
Getty Images
PERSONAL REASONS: Former All Black John Mitchell has abruptly departed the Sale Sharks to return to South Africa.

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The turbulent career of former All Blacks coach John Mitchell continues as he quit English club Sale to return to South Africa.

Mitchell had only been in the English Premiership job for a month with the struggling Sharks after clearing his name in South Africa amidst a pile of misconduct allegations from his time with the Golden Lions in Johannesburg.

Now the 48-year-old is going back to South Africa ''for personal reasons''.

Mitchell joined Sale, which is bottom of the English Premiership, on November 28 and was in charge for five matches. Mitchell had helped Sale to just their second win of the season against Worcester yesterday as the Sharks battle to avoid relegation.

Sale confirmed he has left his role with club owner Brian Kennedy releasing a statement that read: "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 night's excellent performance."

Mitchell’s family has remained in South Africa. It’s unclear if Mitchell will return to the Golden Lions where he was moved to a technical advisor role rather than being in charge of the first team coaching.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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