Sale Sharks: John Mitchell to oversee first-team affairs

 

Chief executive Steve Diamond has confirmed that John Mitchell will oversee first-team affairs at Sale Sharks for the rest of the season.

The 48-year-old took part in his first coaching session on Tuesday.

The club is resourced extremely well and unfortunately we're in this situation, so the reality is that we've got to sustain Premiership rugby

John Mitchell

Diamond told BBC Radio Manchester: "John is in charge and he'll be assisted by the coaching staff, of which I will be one of them for the short term, just for a handover."

Sale are bottom of the Premiership with one win from their first nine games.

Mitchell, who had a spell as player-coach with the Sharks during the late 1990s, had previously been helping the club on a part-time consultancy basis.

He left his position as head coach of South African side Golden Lions last week, after being cleared of misconduct charges by the club, to take his position on Sale's rugby strategy management board.

Mitchell a dynamic coach - Diamond

Among those assisting the former New Zealand coach at the Salford City Stadium will be ex-Scotland international Bryan Redpath, who was removed from his role as director of rugby last month.

Mitchell has called for the Sale squad to show more desire to get out of their current predicament - they are five points adrift at the bottom of the table.

He said: "The club is resourced extremely well and unfortunately we're in this situation, so the reality is that we've got to sustain Premiership rugby.

"We've got the material here. The players have got the talent. We've got to find 22 blokes that are prepared to have that collective will from this point onwards, in order to move forward."

Sale's rugby strategy management board

John Mitchell joins co-owners Brian Kennedy and Ian Blackhurst, chief executive Steve Diamond and head coach Bryan Redpath on the club's rugby strategy management board

Diamond, who had been in control of the Sharks' first team following Redpath's appointment as head coach, is confident that Mitchell's arrival will bring an improvement in results.

He added: "To have somebody of his calibre heading up the rugby is a great coup for the club.

"He brings a directness and a vast knowledge. Everything that you'd expect of a top-class person in his position to bring, he brings."

Mitchell's first game at the helm is against Northampton on Friday.