September 18, 2021, 19:54


John Mitchell says he will will challenge and debate as England defence coach

John Mitchell says he will will challenge and debate as England defence coach

1:33

England's new defence coach John Mitchell says he will challenge and debate with head coach Eddie Jones to improve the team.

England’s new defence coach John Mitchell says he will challenge and debate with Eddie Jones to improve the team.

Mitchell told Sky Sports News: “Every day and session there is the ability to challenge in a generous way or debate in a generous way.

“Already this week I’ve been challenged and others have been challenged so if we can use minds to create a better attention to detail and preparation then it’s great.

“You can’t afford to get comfortable at this level and Eddie is a great leader in the sense of making sure you can be constant in the process, but just be prepared that we want to make things better, and there is the need to be challenged”.

The RFU has paid £200,000 compensation to Blue Bulls in South Africa to bring in Mitchell to help the England team improve before next year’s World Cup.

Mitchell also addressed criticism claiming he has not worked as a defence coach before.

“That’s actually not true. I’ve been a defence coach for the last year and a bit. Good defence coaches often come from being very good attack coaches. I enjoy defence and am looking forward to it.”

Mitchell worked under England’s World Cup-winning coach Sir Clive Woodward for three years up to the year 2000.

He also coached Premiership sides Wasps and Sale and helped the USA qualify for next year’s World Cup.

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Mitchell says the door is open for Cipriani to return to the England team

The new man worked with fly-half Danny Cipriani while the pair were at Wasps and he had warm words for the player who was left out of the latest squad by Jones.

He added: “He’s a quality footballer, he’s got great skills. I caught up with him briefly in South Africa.

“To play for England is not an easy feat. All it’s sending is a message that the door is open, just get better at what you’re doing and never give up, and you never know what can happen”.

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