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South African Rugby
Mitchell 'excited' by Lions opportunity
ESPN Staff
November 13, 2012
John Mitchell gets to work in South Africa, Platinum Leopards v Xerox Lions, Currie Cup, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Phokeng, South Africa, July 9, 2010
John Mitchell is back in charge of the Lions © Getty Images
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John Mitchell has set his sights on guiding the Lions back into the 2014 Super Rugby competition after reporting for pre-season duty this week.

Mitchell was recently found not guilty of all complaints of misconduct levelled against him earlier this year - allegations that led to him being suspended by the Golden Lions Rugby Union (GLRU). He has recently been helping the Sale Sharks on a consultancy basis and was included on their 'rugby strategy management board' charged with helping to guide the club's future.

But it seems that Mitchell looks set to stay in South Africa despite reports last week that Sale were optimistic that the former All Blacks coach would link up with the Aviva Premiership side. "I am excited about being back at the Lions and learnt a lot during the time I was away," Mitchell said. "I am looking forward to working with the many new faces in the team and I am sure they will bring a lot of energy to our set-up."

Mitchell now faces the task of re-building the Lions after they were omitted from the Super Rugby roster for the 2013 season. While he was away from the club, star players such as Elton Jantjies and Josh Strauss have departed but despite this, Mitchell has set his sights on guiding the team back into Super Rugby for the 2014 campaign.

"Our main goal is to secure re-entry into the Super Rugby competition but we have two other objectives - team development and a strong performance in next year's Currie Cup," Mitchell said. "In order to move forward you must look forward and we are in the process of laying down the foundations we need in order to achieve our objectives."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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