Mitchell to return to Waikato
December 21, 1999

The England forwards coach John Mitchell is to quit his job to return to Waikato to take up the position of rugby development manager.

Mitchell, who has been England's assistant coach for over two years will take up his new role after the coming Six Nations Championship.

The former All Black No.8 played for Waikato for 10 years up until 1994 before venturing into northern hemisphere rugby as player-coach of Sale.

He then became an England coach and he is currently coaching top London side Wasps who are unbeaten in this year's European Cup competition.

"I'm now looking forward to putting something back into Waikato which was part of my rugby life for so many years," said Mitchell. "I can't think of a better place to start my coaching career in New Zealand than to help out Waikato."

Woodward paid tribute to his number two Mitchell and thanked him for the work he had performed with the England side in the last two years since taking up his post.

Woodward said, "John leaves with the best wishes and thanks of the squad and management for the excellent work he has carried out with the players since he took over the role as assistant coach.

"A replacement for John will be considered by England and the RFU management board during the next few months."

Mitchell also expressed his gratitude to the RFU and the England side. He said, "It has been an honour to coach England and I will remain totally committed to the squad and our preparations for each of the games in the forthcoming Six Nations Championship."

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