Guscott: Mitchell won't allow England standards to drop

Jeremy Guscott (Gallo Images)
Jeremy Guscott (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Former England centre Jeremy Guscott believes John Mitchell will be a great asset to the Red Roses.

It appears a foregone conclusion that Mitchell will leave the Bulls, with several reports indicating that he will become England’s new defence coach, bringing a premature end to his tenure at the Bulls as his contract was due to only expire at the end of October 2019.

Guscott was part of the England team when Mitchell was brought on board as forwards coach by Clive Woodward in 1997.

“Mitchell will be more direct than what the players are used to - Kiwis tend not to flower stuff," Guscott wrote via a column for The Rugby Paper.

“The game is very simple to them and having a Kiwi coach will certainly up the skill levels of the players. I remember him going through drills of rucking, body positions, technique - he was very up on that and wanted the players to be the best so it was drill after drill after drill.”

Guscott added that he learnt a lot under Mitchell’s coaching.

“It was physical and intense but he made sure it wasn’t boring.”

According to Guscott, the current England side who are coached by Eddie Jones, lacks intensity.

“Mitchell will hopefully bring that missing intensity because he won’t allow standards to drop. It will be as intense, if not more so, in training as in a game. That is a Kiwi trait that he can bring to this side so the players will think the game won’t be as tough as training.”

Now 53, Guscott played 73 Tests for England between 1989 and 1999. He also played eight Tests for the British and Irish Lions.

He is well known among South African rugby fans for kicking the winning drop goal in the second Test at Kings Park which saw the Lions beat the Boks 18-15 and clinch the series in 1997.

READ Jeremy Guscott's full column on the The Rugby Paper website

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