John Mitchell

Former All Black Captain and Coach

John Mitchell is regarded as one of the most dynamic coaches in world rugby. Under his leadership as the Western Force Super 14 head coach, several players have gone on to represent Australia with the Wallabies.

As a player and coach, John’s career has been a mixture of outstanding achievements. He has held the positions of Assistant Coach of the England rugby team and Head of the Waikato Chiefs in New Zealand for the Super 12 competition. In 2002 he became coach of the All Blacks, an appointment that concluded in 2003 following the World Cup. He is one of only three New Zealanders to have played for, captained and coached the All Blacks.

A passionate and engaging speaker, John Mitchell uses anecdotes from his many years as player, captain and coach to demonstrate the strength of teamwork and building a winning culture amongst other invaluable topics. John cleverly relates his sporting experiences to business, ensuring audiences come away with useful information and advice that can be applied to their own workplace.

About John Mitchell:

As a storming No. 8, John Mitchell was a centurion with his beloved Waikato province in New Zealand and captained the All Blacks in six matches on their tour of England and Scotland in 1993.

On his retirement as a player, John Mitchell’s rugby coaching career quickly took off. During his association with Sale in the UK competition - firstly as player-coach and later as Director of Rugby – John Mitchell’s coaching ability caught the attention of the Rugby Football Union (England).

This led to his appointment in 1997 as assistant coach to Clive Woodward of the England team for three years. During this period, England was the Six Nations and Triple Crown champions. John Mitchell’s contribution to the team’s success was also pivotal in England claiming the 2003 World Cup trophy.

Returning to New Zealand in 2001, Mitchell was appointed head coach of the Waikato Chiefs in the Super 12 competition. The following year he replaced Wayne Smith as coach of the All Blacks, an appointment that concluded following the 2003 World Cup. During the period Mitchell was at the helm of the All Blacks, they completed an undefeated northern hemisphere tour, two back-to-back Tri Nations championships and Bledisloe and Gallagher Cup successes.

When he left his job as Waikato’s coach in the NPC in 2005 to take charge of the Western Force, Mitchell’s international coaching success rate stood at 86%.

John Mitchell talks about:

  • The purpose of leadership
  • As leaders of the program the hunger for improvement must be sustained
  • No hiding place for leaders
  • Where does pressure come from and how do you handle it?
  • The Key to success is constant learning and evolving
  • The requirement is growth
  • Its actually the art of coaching
  • What is really meant by the word Empowerment? - the central element to success is the motivation of the players
  • The benefits of experience
  • What is the difference being a Head Coach - the Ireland, England, and All Black stories of different leadership
  • The Emirates Western Force clean sheet of paper
  • The Emirates Western Force Leadership phase 2

  • Client testimonials

    Everyone I spoke to was very impressed by John and of course he totally 'won over' the women in the audience. I'm sure there will be a few Queenslanders barracking for the FORCE this year ...except when they play Queensland of course.

    GPS Rugby Club

    John was an excellent speaker and the 'interview' format worked well - made for a more relaxing style presentation which suited our function. It was also great that he stayed for a while and chatted to many of our guests particularly when I know how busy he was. We had lots of great feedback from our staff and clients following the event.

    PricewaterhouseCoopers Australia

    John Mitchell was a very good presenter, he gave his message very clearly, related his topic to the theme of the conference and was of course very popular with the NZ attendees. All delegates were impressed by his professionalism and his approach to his position.

    AWI 7th World Merino Conference

    Our annual rugby lunch is always a highlight of our events program and John Mitchell’s contribution to the 2005 lunch ensured its continued success. John captivated the audience with his quick wit and forthright style.

    Property Council of Australia