Former Vodacom Bulls head coach and England assistant coach John Mitchell will return to Test rugby under Japan head coach Jamie Joseph.
Mitchell has been appointed as the new defence coach of Japan, who have been drawn in the same pool as England for the 2023 World Cup. Japan and England will face each other in the Pool D opener in Nice next year.
The 57-year-old signed a two-year contract with England in 2021, only to leave Eddie Jones’ coaching staff a few months later and take up a role as Wasps attack coach.
There were reports that a fall-out between Mitchell and Jones was responsible for his exit, but Mitchell denied those rumours and stated he still had a good relationship with the England head coach.
“I would like to thank Lee [Blackett] and the club for their co-operation in allowing me to combine this role with the work I’m already doing at Wasps,” said Mitchell.
“This is a great opportunity to add value to Japan winning test matches through them loving their defence and understanding how it plays a critical part in the way we want to attack.
“I am grateful to be working with Jamie Joseph, Tony Brown, Scott Hansen, Shin Hasegawa and the outstanding coaching group preparing for the RWC 2023 in France.”
I’m delighted to be joining @JRFURugby and linking up with Jamie, Tony, Scott and the rest of the coaching group & players ahead of the RWC.
I’d also like to thank Lee and @WaspsRugby for their continued support and co-operation
— John Mitchell (@mfactorcoaching) February 18, 2022
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