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No quick outcome for Mitchell

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Lions, Original Content on 20 Jul 2012 at 10:00
Tagged with : , , , , , , , ,

Decisions never seem to be taken quickly when it comes to SA Rugby – and in particular the Lions – and with the spectre of Super Rugby elimination hanging over their heads like the sword of Damocles, the last thing that union and its players really need is yet more uncertainty.

It looks like that’s exactly what they’re going to get, though, with reports suggesting that coach John Mitchell’s ongoing disciplinary hearing could take a month of more to conclude. When proceedings against the Kiwi, who stands accused of mistreating players as well as a raft of other, rather secretive and far more serious allegations, got under way earlier in the week, it was hoped that the matter could be resolved within a week or two. Those hopes now appear to have been dashed, though, with the affair set to be drawn out until September at the earliest.

It appears as though each and every one of the players who has complained about Mitchell will need to appear and give evidence and since the bulk of these seem to have left Johannesburg to look for other jobs enjoy a well-earned break after the rigours of coming last in Super Rugby, the process is taking some time. Problem is, though, the Currie Cup kicks off in the second week of August and until Mitchell can be “got rid of” in a legal capacity, the Lions cannot appoint anyone else to coach their side. Johan Ackermann looks set to continue in a care-taker capacity and will be something like their 5th Currie Cup coach in the last 7 years, if I’m not counting wrong.

in a further blow, back line specialist Carlos Spencer’s deal is apparently linked to Mitchell’s meaning that the suits at Coca Cola Park are going to have to do some nimble negotiating indeed in order to convince him to stay on for the domestic season, rather than bugger off back to Kiwi land at the earliest possible opportunity.


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