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Rugby | Absa Currie Cup

John Mitchell © Gallo Images

Ackermann replaces Mitchell as Lions coach



Former Springbok lock Johan Ackermann has been appointed head coach of the Golden Lions rugby team, with former coach John Mitchell taking up a position as a technical advisor to the side.

The Lions said on Friday that Mitchell had signed a one-year contract as a consultant.

"We are looking forward to the future and believe the new agreement with John is the ideal alternative for the Golden Lions," Golden Lions Rugby Union (GLRU) president Kevin de Klerk said in a statement.

"It is a wonderful opportunity for us to utilise John's expertise while offering an up-and-coming coach like Johan the chance to deliver and develop."

As per the conditions of the new agreement, Mitchell would not consult for any other South African franchise during his tenure at the Lions.

"I am pleased that Kevin de Klerk and GLRU CEO Ruben Moggee have been extremely supportive of my wish to remain on board at the Lions, while allowing me the chance to consider other associations linked to rugby," Mitchell said.

"I am fully committed to helping the Lions and head coach Johan Ackermann in the rebuilding process.

"I have unfinished business with the Lions and this new arrangement will enable me to help the team achieve the goals they have set out."

Mitchell, who has been linked with a job at English club Sale Sharks, was cleared by the GLRU earlier this month after he was suspended in June.

Lions players had given a list of grievances to the union, complaining of the training methods employed by the former All Black coach.

Ackermann was appointed in an interim role while Mitchell was suspended, guiding the defending champions to the semifinals of the Currie Cup last month.

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