The Blue Bulls have confirmed that John Mitchell has left the union to become England’s defence coach.
This follows months of negotiations between the Bulls and the English RFU regarding compensation for Mitchell, whose Bulls contract was supposed to run until October 2019.
The RFU has reportedly agreed to pay the Bulls £200,000 (R3.9-million).
‘This is an exciting opportunity to work with England Rugby and support Eddie Jones as head coach,’ said Mitchell. ‘I will be joining an elite high-performance programme, Test team and coaching group where I will use all my experience and focus to bring the necessary clarity and confidence to the players from a defensive perspective.’
Jones said: ‘Defence is a key pillar of our game and John is an experienced coach. He’s coached the All Blacks, USA and a number of Super Rugby sides so he will bring a wealth of experience and add to the coaching mix we have here.’
Mitchell joined the Bulls at the tail-end of last year’s Super Rugby tournament as their executive of rugby.
After Nollis Marais vacated his post as head coach, Mitchell coached the Blue Bulls in the Currie Cup. They finished fourth on the log and lost to the Sharks in the semi-finals.
Mitchell was effectively head coach of the Bulls in Super Rugby this year. They finished 12th on the overall log after winning just six of their 16 matches.
Pote Human is coaching the Blue Bulls in the current Currie Cup campaign.
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images