Mitchell cleared of charges

Suspended Lions coach John Mitchell has been found not guilty after a lengthy disciplinary hearing.

Mitchell was suspended by the Lions in June after players complained about his strict management and coaching methods during Super Rugby.

He was finally announced not guilty by neutral chairman Peter Bam on Thursday.

Mitchell’s representatives at the Fordham Company have confirmed that Mitchell wants to resume his position as head coach: ‘John is elated with the outcome and feels that his position and reputation as an international coach has been fully vindicated. He is looking forward to returning to Ellis Park as head coach to assist the Lions to achieve their full potential.’

However, has it on good authority that it’s unlikely that the Lions will agree to this. Interim head coach Johan Ackermann, who mentored the team to the Currie Cup semi-finals during Mitchell’s absence, is the favourite to take over on a permanent basis.

It’s also unlikely that Mitchell will be allowed to coach a team that called for his suspension.