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Exclusive TV3 Interview With John Mitchell


7th September 2004

John Campbell’s Exclusive Interview With Former All Black Coach John Mitchell

In his first major interview since he was dropped as All Blacks coach, John Mitchell bears all this week in a remarkably revealing and candid chat with John Campbell, as part of 3’s unique new series, John Campbell with A Queen’s Tour, screening on 3 on Thursday 9 September at 8.30 p.m.

During his reign as All Blacks coach in the lead-up to the 2003 Rugby World Cup, Mitchell was notorious for staying out of the media and focusing intently on his role, however in this interview with John Campbell, Mitchell shows a side the public has not seen before and talks openly and honestly about his time in the hot seat and overcoming his fears.

Campbell asks Mitchell the big question – would he ever do it again? His answer was surprisingly honest.

“If we didn’t win the world cup I was going to go and that was a reality,” says Mitchell. “I’m still probably somewhat wild and bitter inside, but I’m a competitive person”.

A Queen’s Tour explores New Zealand’s past and present based on Queen Elizabeth II’s 1953 tour, and the interview with Mitchell is part of the show’s visit to Hamilton. Mitchell is very proudly Waikato and talks to Campbell about starting rugby life in such a rugby-driven province and how his first obstacle to overcome was pure survival.

“I used to sit on the Hamilton City Council bus heading down to Tokoroa, eating my bananas, thinking that I didn’t need to think about patterns or my role within patterns, I needed to think about how I was going to survive the first fifteen minutes,” says Mitchell.

Campbell says the interview is truly frank and very moving in parts.

“The clichés are gone. The wall is gone. The real John Mitchell turned up for this interview,” says Campbell. “There was a human being there instead of a cliché machine and he opened up and finally said what he really thinks about the way things went.”

Don’t miss John Campbell’s exclusive interview with John Mitchell, screening on 3 on Thursday 9 September at 8.30 p.m. as part of 3’s new series John Campbell with A Queen’s Tour.


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