John Mitchell has been cleared of all misconduct charges levelled against him by the Golden Lions and intends to return to work as head coach today, according to a statement from his representatives.
Mitchell has been working as a consultant with Sale Sharks during his suspension from duty with the Lions and had been approached about a permanent role at his former club. But Mitchell said last week he had “unfinished business” with the Lions, who he led to Currie Cup success in 2011, and wanted to continue as head coach.
Mitchell’s suspension has been now lifted and he has been requested to return to work at Ellis Park, Johannesburg today, according to his lawyer Brian Patterson of Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs. A statement from Mitchell’s management agency, the Fordham Company, said: “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.”
At present, it is unclear whether Mitchell will continue in his consultancy role with Sale.
The Golden Lions Rugby Union had levelled numerous charges against Mitchell, including allegations of abusive language towards players and that he pressured injured players to train and play.
Mitchell had always denied the allegations.