"I’m not Eddie Jones," - John Mitchell affirms long-term commitment to red roses

John Mitchell was appointed England Women's head coach
John Mitchell was appointed England Women's head coach
©Steve Haag

Incoming Red Roses head coach John Mitchell insisted that he is keen on having a long-term commitment with the side as they aim to clinch the home Rugby World Cup in 2025.

Mitchell was appointed the head coach of the England Women's side in May replacing Simon Middleton. While the 59-year-old joining the team after his stint as defence coach with Japan in the recently concluded Rugby World Cup, forwards coach Louis Deacon guided the team to a title win in the inaugural edition of WXV1.

The New Zealander had already worked with England men's team as an assistant coach under Eddie Jones between 2018 and 2021 but now takes in charge of the women's team with his contract expected to run beyond 2025.

“I’m not an Eddie Jones,” Mitchell said, speaking for the first time since taking the role.

“That’s just not going to happen.

“I always owed it to myself to lead a programme again. This is an amazing team that has a winning mentality. That really excited me and the fact that they are the No 1 team in the world, how can we sustain that and stay above the rest?

“With the exponential development and focus on women’s sport, to me, that’s a major challenge because other teams are going to get better. We need to stay above them. That’s the part that really excites me.”

The last time England hosted the Women's World Cup in 2010 they finished runners up and since then they won the title in 2014 before finishing second in the 2017 and 2021 editions. They now have an opportunity to extend their supremacy as they host the showpiece event in 2025 and Mitchell expressed excitement at the opportunity.

“[The Red Roses] have an identity. They have a winning mentality already. They’ve created a legacy already in terms of the number of games they’ve won. They’ve won World Cups before, and they’ve lost World Cups.

“We have our purpose, collectively, but we need to give them the opportunity to communicate their individual why authentically as we play and progress.

“To me, it is more about continuing what we are doing and getting better at it. Because we are not great. We are not phenomenal; we are very good. We have the opportunity to take another step, and that’s going to force people to change the way they think.

“They will be challenged in that area, certainly by myself. I think collectively, [we want to] carry on and get better, and individually make sure we allow the girls to present themselves and their communities authentically.”