John Eric Paul Mitchell
, (born 23 March 1964 in Hawera
, New Zealand
) is a noted former rugby union
player and former coach for the New Zealand All Blacks
, Mitchell's rugby career blossomed with the club side Fraser-Tech after he moved from King Country
in 1984 and was soon elected Waikato Colts
captain. He is currently the coach of the Golden Lions
, having been released as coach of the Western Force
. He will take up coaching the Lions
in the 2011 Super Rugby
As a pupil at New Plymouth
's Francis Douglas Memorial College
he made the first XV and he was a member of the NZ secondary schools basketball team from 1981-83. He represented NZ Juniors in basketball in 1982-83, but then decided to concentrate on rugby.
He made his Waikato senior debut in 1985 and played at number eight, blindside flanker and lock before he became firmly established at number eight. Equal top scorer in first division rugby in 1989-90, he thus scored more tries over these seasons than any other NZ first division player.
Mitchell was given the Waikato captaincy in 1989. In 1990, because of a broken leg, he could only play half the games. He was reappointed captain in 1991 and led magnificently from that time on until his retirement just prior to the start of the 1995 season. He captained the side a record 86 times. Overall he played 134 games for Waikato and scored 67 tries. In the off season,... Read More