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Rugby Coach Mitchell Stabbed in Home Invasion in South Africa

Former New Zealand rugby coach John Mitchell was attacked and stabbed by two intruders at his apartment in Johannesburg, where he is coaching the Lions team.

Mitchell, 46, was released from hospital yesterday after being stabbed in the thigh and upper arm during the home invasion on Saturday evening, the Golden Lions Rugby Union said in a statement on its website.

“The invaders took a few possessions and then ran off,” Lions President Kevin de Klerk said in the statement. “Mitchell stayed in hospital for the night where he received treatment and stitches to the two wounds. He was released on Sunday morning and will return to work on Monday.”

Lions conditioning coach Wayne Taylor, who was in the adjoining apartment, heard the commotion in the room next door and climbed down a drainpipe to alert police, Television New Zealand reported. The burglars stole a laptop and cell phone, the broadcaster said.

Mitchell was last month hired as head coach of the Lions in South Africa’s domestic Currie Cup and the southern hemisphere’s Super Rugby competition on a three-year contract after being released from the final year of his agreement with Australia’s Western Force.

He was appointed as All Blacks coach in 2001 and led them to 23 wins in 27 matches. He also spent time coaching in England, including a stint as assistant coach of the national team.

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