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Politics made Mitchell go

John Mitchell says personal vendettas have forced him to leave South African rugby.

Mitchell has been appointed head coach of the USA Eagles for the next four years, after missing out on the Stormers head coach job.

Saru president Oregan Hoskins admitted that he and Golden Lions president Kevin de Klerk had told WP president Thelo Wakefield not to hire the New Zealander, who was cleared in 2012 of allegations around poor treatment of players while coaching the Lions.

‘At the end of the day I’ve never been charged with any of the allegations,’ Mitchell told Radio Sport. ‘It’s only perception only. I’ve had to deal with a fair bit of politics in my time but I’m heading into an environment where there is stability above me.

‘The Lions situation was orchestrated. I was basically cleared of all 28 allegations and clearly Oregan Hoskin and Kevin de Klerk have still got a vendetta against me here in South Africa. So my expertise isn’t warranted.

‘This opportunity in many ways is the better of the opportunities, because in many ways in the process of the Stormers it became very evident to me that I think the process saved me.’