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Hoskins didn’t want Mitchell

  • 20 Dec 2015
Oregan Hoskins Oregan Hoskins

Saru president Oregan Hoskins says he and Golden Lions president Kevin de Klerk advised against the appointment of John Mitchell as Stormers coach.

Mitchell was WP director of rugby Gert Smal's preferred choice to replace Eddie Jones, but WP president Thelo Wakfield and the board were against it, with WP U21 coach Robbie Fleck eventually getting the job.

It has since emerged that both Saru and the GLRU told the WPRFU not to hire Mitchell.

'The Golden Lions had a tough parting with Mitchell,' Hoskins told the Sunday Times. 'I was still president of Saru and I was intimately involved in his arbitration hearing.'

Hoskins was referring to complaints laid against Mitchell by certain Lions players in 2012. The New Zealander was later cleared of all 28 charges, with the Lions having to make a substantial payout to him. As the Lions were struggling financially at the time, Saru had to provide assistance.

'When Western Province considered Mitchell for the Stormers coaching job, Kevin de Klerk and I spoke to Theo and said that we strongly feel that they shouldn't consider him, given the experience we had at the Lions,' Hoskins added.

'If you appoint a coach for four years and run into problems in the first year, you end up having to pay out a lot of money.

'My concern is a financial one, and I think it is very sad that Western Province are coming out as the bad guys here.'

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Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images

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