Mitchell suspended after player complaints
Lions coach John Mitchell has been suspended with immediate effect following complaints from the players, Super Rugby franchise president Kevin de Klerk said on Saturday.
The former New Zealand coach will face a disciplinary inquiry by the board of the Johannesburg-based franchise.
“"John Mitchell has been suspended pending an investigation after complaints from the players," De Klerk confirmed to Reuters.
“"The complaints of the players are quite serious and it's not just from one or two players, it's a very substantial number which we cannot take lightly. As the custodians of Gauteng rugby, we are responsible to our staff and the well-being of our players."
De Klerk, a former Springbok lock, said he could not elaborate on the complaints.
Assistant coaches Carlos Spencer and Johan Ackermann will take over the coaching as the Lions return to Super Rugby action next weekend.
Mitchell, 48, joined the Lions in mid-2010 and steered them to the Currie Cup title last year, but their Super Rugby form has been poor. The Lions have been South Africa's worst-performing franchise over the last two years.