Former All Blacks and current Golden Lions coach John Mitchell has spoken publicly after being stabbed twice in his Johannesburg home on Saturday night.
The 46-year-old suffered wounds to his thigh and right arm in the incident that has sent shockwaves through the rugby community.
The former Waikato back-row man was awoken by two intruders entering his bedroom late on Saturday. Mitchell tackled one of the intruders and was engaged in a struggle in which he was stabbed twice and then tied-up.
He had initially thought the intruder may have been Wayne Taylor, the Lions conditioning coach with whom he shared the residence, playing a practical joke.
Taylor was eventually able to raise the alarm and, when police returned, Mitchell was taken to hospital in Sandton for treatment before being released on Sunday.
"I'm not feeling great, obviously, but my injuries are not too bad and I just thank God that they missed the artery in my leg when they stabbed me," said Mitchell.
"This was a very unfortunate incident and I wouldn't wish it on any other person to be held hostage and woken in that manner by having an intruder in your room, feeling both your and your friends' lives are in danger.
"Possibly the worst part of the incident was not knowing if Tails (Wayne Taylor) was ok, or if he was even alive. Tails managed to climb out the window and call the police for help. This was the best thing he could have done, and I commend his decision to escape the apartment as he did not know if they were armed.
"I went for some trauma counselling on Sunday evening which was very beneficial, and I now have a process to work through on myself. I cannot dwell on this and I need to move forward.
"I am still very committed to the Lions. This is a beautiful country and I consider myself fortunate to have the opportunity to work here. I won't let this deter my commitment or passion for the team, but I need to make sure that I am totally secure in where I live, as it is not at all nice waking up and having to defend your life.
"The players have been incredibly supportive, but I'm trying to not dwell too much on what has happened. I need to find closure now and move on with my life."