Cape Town – The Bulls have remained mum over a reported compensation fee for their coach John Mitchell.
It appears a foregone conclusion that Mitchell will leave the Bulls, with several reports indicating that he will become England’s new defence coach, bringing a premature end to his tenure at the Bulls as his contract was due to only expire at the end of October 2019.
It was reported over the weekend that the Bulls requested a compensation fee from the English RFU for Mitchell’s services, with Afrikaans weekly newspaper Rapport saying the Bulls had rejected the RFU’s offer of £50 000 (R900 000) and asked for £500 000 (R9 million) instead.
The Blue Bulls Company told Netwerk24 on Monday that reports on the amount were “premature” and did not want to elaborate on whether they requested a fee in order to release Mitchell from his contract.
However, an insider at the Bulls did reveal the following to the Afrikaans publication: “You can see he (Mitchell) wants to go. It would be daft to keep him here against his will.”
The New Zealand Herald reported over the weekend that the former All Blacks head coach had already “officially agreed a deal to replace Paul Gustard” as England defence coach.
The report added that Mitchell was expected to start in his new role next month, with his contract set to run until after next year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Mitchell was previously the England forwards coach between 1997 and 2000 under Sir Clive Woodward.
He is now set to work alongside head coach Eddie Jones.