THE Golden Lions Rugby Union has suspended coach John Mitchell following several complaints from the players about his management style.

The decision was made at a meeting of the Lions board of directors on Thursday night, where the complaints were discussed in detail.

The union is expected to begin its investigation into the complaints on Monday, after which a decision will be made on Mitchell's future.

The coach signed a three-year contract with the Lions after being appointed as the 2010 Currie Cup coach temporarily in the absence of former Springbok back-line coach Dick Muir.

At the time, he was contracted to Australian Super Rugby franchise the Western Force.

Mitchell was stripped of his head-coach responsibilities at the Perth-based union months before his departure, also as a result of his management style.

Lions president Kevin de Klerk refused to comment on the matter in detail on Friday and said only: "We made the decision to suspend John Mitchell pending an investigation after a board meeting. I cannot comment further at this time."

isaacsz@bdfm.co.za