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Guestspeaker- John Mitchell
John Mitchell
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Category:
Speaker
Location:
Durban South Africa
Preferred Language:
English
Tags:
Commentator,Presenter,Professional sports coach,Rugby,Sporting celebrity,TV & Radio
Profile:
John Mitchell, the former New Zealand All Blacks head coach, has been appointed Director of Rugby at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Mitchell will oversee the rugby coaching, fitness and medical staff on the UKZN campuses, as well as taking charge of the UKZN Impi team in the FNB Varsity Shield. According to UKZN sports officer Reggie Smith, “the University is pleased to have the services of a coach and mentor of John Mitchell’s standing on board. I believe our students and coaches stand to benefit significantly from working with John.”

As a player, Mitchell played 134 matches for his province Waikato, captaining the team a record 86 times, wresting the Ranfurly Shield from Auckland in 1992 and winning the inaugural National Championship a year later. He was recently named in Waikato Rugby’s “team of all time”. Mitchell (All Black number 940) played six games for New Zealand on their 1993 tour of Great Britain, captaining the All Blacks in three tour matches. He returned to the UK a few years later, and from 1997 to 2000 was head forwards coach on Sir Clive Woodward’s England coaching staff for 33 Test matches. This period with England included a Six Nations title and a memorable win over South Africa (to prevent the Springboks from achieving the world record of 18 successive victories). 
 
In 2000, Mitchell returned to coach in New Zealand, where he successfully moulded a professional Chiefs franchise from five, previously distinct provincial unions. Soon afterwards, Mitchell was appointed head coach of the All Blacks, who promptly reclaimed the coveted Bledisloe Cup from Australia’s stranglehold. Mitchell’s All Blacks went on to win back-to-back Tri Nations titles, as well as the bronze medal in the 2003 World Cup. He finished with an 86% success rate during his All Blacks tenure and is one of just three New Zealanders to have played for, captained, and coached the national team.
 
Mitchell was subsequently headhunted by Perth-based Super Rugby expansion franchise, the Western Force, assembling a successful team in Australia’s rugby hinterland. The Force, initially made up of only a handful of professionals, supplemented by club players, managed to beat every Super Rugby franchise under Mitchell’s tutelage. 
 
More recently Mitchell has been in charge of the Golden Lions, with whom he won the Currie Cup in 2011 (the Lions’ first home final win in over 60 years), and is well known as a television pundit on SuperSport. 
 
Speaking from Durban, Mitchell sounded excited about his new role. “KwaZulu-Natal is my home now and I am passionate about rugby. I believe I am in a position in life to impart knowledge and pass on my experience to serve and work with our people. I look forward to leading, nurturing, teaching, and inspiring young students in an important time in their lives. This is about building on what has already been done and taking our rugby programme to another level without losing the fun aspect of what student life should be about. UKZN has a proud rugby heritage dating back more than a hundred years. The UKZN Rugby programme has produced four Springbok Test captains and three World Cup winners, and it is my aim to get the students challenging the for top honours in the KZN leagues. I also look forward to experiencing the Varsity Shield vibe first hand, and to getting the Impi competing in the top tier of Varsity Rugby.” 
 
A qualified quantity surveyor, Mitchell also holds a Diploma in Sports Psychology from Newcastle College and a Postgraduate Certificate in Sports Management from the University of Leicester. John recently took on the position of CEO for Egli Packaging Machines and Snack Lines.
John Mitchell, the former New Zealand All Blacks head coach, has been appointed Director of Rugby at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Mitchell will oversee the rugby coaching, fitness and medical staff on the UKZN campuses, as well as taking charge of the UKZN Impi team in the FNB Varsity Shield. According to UKZN sports officer Reggie Smith, “the University is pleased to have the services of a coach and mentor of John Mitchell’s standing on board. I believe our students and
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