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Lions coach Mitchell suspended
ESPN Staff
June 23, 2012
Lions coach John Mitchell issues instructions to fly-half Butch James, Lions training session, Johannesburg Stadium, Johannesburg, April 4, 2012
John Mitchell's future at the Lions is under consideration © Getty Images
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Former All Blacks coach John Mitchell has been suspended by South African Super Rugby side the Lions amid reports players were unhappy with his coaching methods and man management skills.

Lions president Kevin de Klerk stood Mitchell down on Friday pending further inquiry, stating the allegations were too serious to ignore. "We had a board meeting last [Thursday] night and regard it of such a serious nature that we suspended his services with immediate effect ... pending further investigation," de Klerk said. "We discussed the matter at length with our legal advisors and all the stakeholders and we arrived at this decision."

Assistant coaches Carlos Spencer and Johan Ackermann will take over the reins when the Super Rugby competition resumes next weekend. The Johannesburg-based Lions are currently bottom of the South African conference.

Mitchell left the Western Force in 2010 with reports emerging of a rift with the team's players.

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