Mitchell opens lid on 'worst week of my life'
August 15, 2013
Craig Mitchell on the charge for Wales © Getty Images
Exeter Chiefs prop Craig Mitchell has described his well publicised incident in Australia as the "worst week of my life".
Mitchell received a suspended six-month jail term after admitting to an unprovoked assault in a Brisbane hotel after the first Test between Australia and the British & Irish Lions. Mitchell, who has made 15 appearances for Wales, including on their recent tour of Japan, was also fined AUS$1800 (£1060) and had to pay AUS$3000 (£1767) compensation after knocking out solicitor Cian Barry with a single punch.
Mitchell, 27, admitted wading into an altercation between fans that Barry was trying to calm down at the Normanby Hotel after the Lions had defeated the Wallabies. Mitchell, who pleaded guilty to aggravated assault occasioning bodily harm, apologised in court describing his actions as "totally unacceptable and unforgivable".
And Mitchell has opened the lid on his emotions at the time when talking to a group of academy players at the Rugby Players' Association's annual Academy Induction Day at Loughborough University.
"As many people will know I was involved in an incident out in Australia that ended up in court proceedings and an investigation by my club and the RFU," Mitchell said. "I've come along today to share my experiences with the boys and make them aware that incidents can happen and it's so important to learn to control yourself in dangerous situations.
"What happened is up there with the worst week of my life and I wanted to stress that the way you react to things is very important being a professional rugby player. The support I received from Mark [Haslam, from Burton Copeland solicitors] and the RPA has been unbelievable and I wanted to repay them by coming today and talking to the players."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
He teed up Obolensky's try, fought in Burma and played cricket for Warwickshire - we Rewind to look at the story of Peter Cranmer
With the World Cup just a year away, Tom Hamilton picks out five matches to ensure you have tickets for
Ahead of November's USA-All Blacks match, America's ESPN Magazine explains rugby to its readers who may not be familiar with the game
Tom Hamilton talks to World Cup-winning captain John Smit about life after rugby, his fears over the South African exodus and the World Cup