England have appointed New Zealand native, John Mitchell as their new defence coach until the end of the Rugby World Cup next year.
Mitchell will leave his executive of rugby role at the South African Super Rugby side, the Bulls, to join the England set up in September ahead of November’s Quilter Internationals.
The 54-year-old was an England assistant coach between 1997 and 2000 under Sir Clive Woodward for 33 Tests and has coached domestically in the Premiership at both Wasps – reaching the European Cup quarter-final – and Sale Sharks.
Paul Gustard left the role to join Harlequins in the summer. Head coach, Eddie Jones admitted that he contacted Ireland defence coach, Andy Farrell about a return to England but reports say Farrell rejected the move in favour of remaining within the Irish setup.
In a statement, Mitchell said he was looking forward to bringing “clarity and confidence” to the players.
“This is an exciting opportunity to work with England Rugby and support Eddie Jones as head coach.”
“I will be joining an elite high-performance programme, Test team and coaching group where I will use all my experience and focus to bring the necessary clarity and confidence to the players from a defensive perspective.”
Jones added: “Defence is a key pillar of our game and John Mitchell is an experienced coach.
“He’s coached the All Blacks, USA Rugby and a number of Super Rugby sides so he will bring a wealth of experience and add to the coaching mix we have here.”
Meanwhile, the RFU have also announced that Scott Wisemantel will continue in his role as an attack consultant, having initially taken up the position for their summer tour to South Africa.