Mitch: I’ve learned a lot

USA coach John Mitchell says one of the biggest lessons he’s learned is how to ‘communicate to the individual’.

Mitchell left South Africa under controversial circumstances after he lost out on the Stormers coaching job, citing personal vendettas that had forced him to leave.

In a wide-ranging interview with World Rugby TV, Mitchell discussed the experiences that had shaped him as a coach and person on the journey to accepting the USA job.

‘I think the one thing I’ve probably learned more than anything else is how you communicate to the individual. It’s not so much what you say or how you say it, it is how it is received. At times I have been misinterpreted or misunderstood and, from time to time, I’ve probably been too honest. I think I’ve found a way to communicate more effectively going forward.’

Mitchell said he was pleased to be back doing what he loves.

‘My wife says she has always seen the candle [for coaching at the top] still burning. I guess for me it was a case of if I did go again that I went to the right place. When I signed the contract and finally made my decision to commit, it felt good in my stomach. There were no doubts. I am working with [USA Rugby CEO] Nigel [Melville] again, which is important to me, it is important as head coach to know you have stability above you.

‘I have always been reluctant to coach a tier-two nation but the USA is huge, and I think it is important to rugby globally for it to grow.’

Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images

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Craig Lewis