Mitchell not interested in Ireland job



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Former All Black coach John Mitchell has rejected an approach from the Irish Rugby Football Union for the vacant Ireland job which became available after Eddie O’ Sullivan.

Mitchell however says that he still holds out hope of eventually returning to coach top-level rugby in the UK.

Mitchell was among the top three contenders identified by the IRFU to replace Eddie O’Sullivan. Another candidate Jake White said that he was not interested in coaching Ireland.

This leaves Munster coach Declan Kidney as the only member of the group identified by the IRFU as a potential coach.

Mitchell said he wanted to see out his four-year contract with the Western Force before thinking of returning to the international arena.

“I have had an approach by Ireland,” Mitchell told the Irish Daily Mail.

“I do not deny that I want to come back and coach in the British Isles at some stage but not now.

“I have a four-year contract here and I’m big on showing loyalty to this organisation. There have been some opportunities since the World Cup but building up this brand new club is important to me.

“I have been very clear about not pursuing any interest from overseas. There are plenty of challenges for me here.”

Mitchell was an assistant to Sir Clive Woodward around 2000 but returned to New Zealand, coaching the Chiefs before taking the All Black reigns in late 2001.

He was fired as coach following the All Blacks third place finish at the 2003 Rugby World Cup.

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