Author(s): Gavin Rich
John Mitchell's rugby coaching career spans many years, several teams and various countries. He was assistant to Clive Woodward, England's World Cup-winning coach, as one of the pioneers of the professional era in rugby, he coached the All Blacks and the Chiefs in New Zealand, as well as the Western Force in Australia and the Lions in South Africa. But while he is indisputably one of the most experienced and inspirational coaches on the circuit, he has arguably also been one of the most controversial, with several of his stints in top jobs ending badly. Although he made a success of all his tenures, he has also often challenged the structures and the powers-that-be, resulting in several premature departures. This book reveals why, and also why Mitchell has successfully defended every disciplinary hearing he has been subjected to. For the first time, the rugby public will learn the truth behind the newspaper headlines: from his painful axing as All Black coach to his fall-out with the Lions, whom he had guided to their first Currie Cup trophy, Mitchell sets out the reasons for his successes as well as his failures, in a book that is not only entertaining, gripping and revealing, but, like the man himself, honest, forthright and controversial. This book is every rugby fan's dream.
John Mitchell is one of only a few people who both coached and captained the All Blacks. Considered a master strategist, he has coached teams to the fi nal in the Pilkington Cup in England and Currie Cup victory in South Africa, and he guided the All Blacks to Bledisloe Cup and Tri-Nations victories at a time when the New Zealand trophy cabinet had been bare for some time. He is currently a studio analyst for SuperSport, where his insightful commentary and strategic nous have earned him the respect of South African rugby fans, he coaches the Impi, the KwaZulu-Natal University team, in the Varsity Shield and also runs a company that coaches the coaches. He is currently the CEO of Egli, a manufacturing company, and lives in Durban. Gavin Rich is an award-winning sportswriter who has covered South African rugby since the end of isolation in 1992. As one of few rugby writers to have worked with all of them, it put him in a position to write the story of the post-isolation Springbok coaches, which gave rise to his second book, The Poisoned Chalice. His first book was former Springbok coach Peter de Villiers's bestselling autobiography, Politically Incorrect. Rich is contracted to Supersport.com and the Weekend Argus, but he also contributes to various other publications and radio stations. He was educated at Northlands Boys High School and Rhodes University.