Former All Blacks coach stabbed

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The Independent Online

Former New Zealand coach John Mitchell is due to return to work with the Golden Lions today after he was stabbed twice during a break-in at his home on Saturday night.

Mitchell spent the night in hospital in Sandton, Johannesburg, and received stitches to the two wounds before being released yesterday morning.

The Golden Lions confirmed in a statement on their official website that Mitchell was stabbed in the thigh and the upper arm after two intruders broke into the home he shares with fellow coach Wayne Taylor. The intruders took a few possessions and then ran off.

Golden Lions Rugby Union President Kevin de Klerk said: "We have rallied around both John and Wayne during this terrible time and have placed them both in new accommodation for the time being while we find them a new permanent residency.

"The complex they were staying in has a reputation for being very safe, and as a result we never had any doubt that they were out of harm's way.

"Mitchell will be back at the office (on Monday) where we will give him our full support and encouragement."

Mitchell's former club Western Force expressed their shock at the incident and offered their support to the 46-year-old.

RugbyWA chief executive Vern Reid said: "We were absolutely shocked when we learnt what happen to John in South Africa.

"It's one of those things that you hear about but certainly don't expect them to happen to people that you know.

"We haven't yet spoken to John directly as both his mobile phone and laptop was stolen, however we have been in contact with his wife and manager.

"Obviously John was pretty shaken up by the whole event and realistically I think he considers himself to be pretty lucky to have got out of that situation relatively lightly, albeit that he was stabbed in the thigh and arm.

"We're of the understanding that John will be back on his feet quickly and able to return to his duties with the Lions in the near future which is a positive outcome."

Mitchell will coach the Lions in the Super 15 competition next year.