REPORTS: RFU set to reappoint Former All Blacks Head Coach John Mitchell - Ruck

REPORTS: RFU set to reappoint Former All Blacks Head Coach John Mitchell

Reports have begun circulating around the Head Coach vacancy for England’s Red Roses, after Simon Middleton’s retirement from the role after 14 years, at the end of the 2023 Women’s Six Nations.

Former All Blacks Head Coach John Mitchell is expected to be announced for the position, with reports from Rugby Pass stating the 59-year-old could be unveiled for the role as soon as tomorrow.

Mitchell has previously worked with the RFU on two occasions, as a Forwards Coach between 1997-2000, and most recently as Defence Coach from 2018-2021.

John Mitchell, England defence coach during the Autumn Nations Cup match between England and Georgia at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on November 14 2020. – PHOTO: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

The New Zealander has a globe-trotting coaching resume, and would be a welcomed addition to the ever-growing Women’s game. Mitchell last featured in the English game as Attack Coach for Wasps, with additional commitments to the Japan national team. Following the financial collapse of the Coventry side, Mitchell prolonged his tenure in Japan, and has been helping the Brave Blossom’s prepare for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

As a player, Mitchell was unable to excel to the heights of achieving an All Blacks cap, but was a mainstay with his provincial club side Waikato.

He retired from rugby in 1995, and was appointed as Forwards Coach of the Ireland national team just a year later. This took Mitchell to his first club role with Sale Sharks, before an eventual call-up into the England Coaching staff during the Sir Clive Woodward era.

After a short return to the Premiership as Assistant Coach with the then London Wasps, Mitchell returned home to New Zealand for five years. In his homeland, Mitchell took the reigns of Waikato and the Chiefs, before being appointed as Head Coach of the All Blacks in 2001. An unsuccessful 2003 Rugby World Cup saw Mitchell leave the post and return to Waikato for a season.

Eddie Jones, England Head Coach (R) talks with John Mitchell, head coach of England A (L) during England Rugby training session at The Lensbury Hotel, Teddington, London on 24 June 2021. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

Mitchell then continued to travel the world as a Head Coach, seeing success in Australia with Western Force, South Africa with the Golden Lions, before taking the United States national team to Americas Rugby Championship glory.

A return to South Africa saw Mitchell line-up with the Bulls, before he joined up alongside Eddie Jones, for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

“Horror draw” – England get pool of death in revised World Cup draw

The recently released World Rugby Rankings highlight the absurdity of the Pool Draw for the upcoming Rugby World Cup 2023, which was determined three years in advance and appears to be heavily skewed.

In response to criticism, World Rugby has announced that future pool draws for the Rugby World Cup will be conducted closer to the start of the tournament, as the current practice of relying on team rankings at the time of the draw is deemed unfair.

According to a report by the Mirror, World Rugby will make changes to the pool draw process for the 2027 edition.

“World Rugby said it is able to make the change because of a new ‘hosting model’ that sees the international federation create collaborations with the host union,” the report read.

“The top of the men’s Test game has never been more competitive,” the spokesperson added. “There has never been so much movement over a two-year period.


“Bearing that in mind and noting the format of four pools of five teams, there is arguably no perfect time for a draw.”

As a result, the guys over at Eggchasers Rugby put together their own drawer the 2023 tournament based on the current World Rugby rankings.

Concentrating on only the top 10 countries in the world, it looks significant.

It was very different with England handed a much sterner test in their pool. Watch the full video here.

POOL A actual draw:

  • France
  • New Zealand

POOL A up to date draw

  • France
  • Australia