Mitchell snubbed Stormers

John Mitchell turned down the chance to replace Allister Coetzee as Stormers coach.

The former All Blacks, Force and Lions coach admitted the Stormers proposition was attractive but he wanted a four-year deal. He was also concerned that the Stormers director of rugby Gert Smal was contracted for two years and worried that Smal could be tempted away to a bigger job with the Springboks, leaving Mitchell vulnerable.

'There were no guarantees for me beyond that period. Had I been offered a four-year deal, it would have been different. But I have travelled around the world a lot to pursue my career as a coach and didn't want to uproot my family again for the promise of just two years,' Mitchell, who is based in Durban, told

'I can work with Gert but I have been in a situation before [at the Lions] where I signed up a coach to work with a director of rugby and then it never happened and I was left on a limb.'

Mitchell also raised questions about the Stormers' methods as the Cape Town outfit looked to end their long title drought.

'I have no doubt that WP have the playing resources and the talent pipeline, but do they have the competency in the rest of the coaching structure there to win a Super Rugby title? I place a question mark over that,' Mitchell said.

'I don't believe that one man alone can go in and effect change and turn a franchise into a Super Rugby champion unit. It's something that takes time, and it becomes more difficult if all the other pre-existing structures are still in place, meaning that you are one man trying to effect change as opposed to a team of people trying to change something.'

Plumtree in line for Stormers job

Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

Post by

Simon Borchardt