International Rugby

Mitchell returns to England as defence coach

John Mitchell is returning to the England set-up as defence coach after agreeing a deal that runs until the end of the 2019 World Cup.

The former New Zealand head coach, who has also had spells in charge of Wasps and Sale Sharks, was on Clive Woodward’s England’s staff as an assistant between 1997 and 2000 and leaves his executive position in Super Rugby with the Bulls to join Eddie Jones’ team.

New Zealander Mitchell led the All Blacks in 28 Tests from 2001 to 2003, winning two Tri Nations titles in the Southern Hemisphere.

“Defence is a key pillar of our game and John is an experienced coach,” Jones said on England Rugby’s website.

“He’s coached the All Blacks, USA Rugby 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 arrives ahead of the internationals in November, when England face South Africa, New Zealand, Japan and Australia at Twickenham.

“This is an exciting opportunity to work with England Rugby and support Eddie Jones as head coach,” he added.

“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.”

England have also confirmed that Scott Wisemantel will continue in his role as attack coach, a position he held during the recent tour of South Africa. News wire is powered by opta

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