Former All Blacks coach John Mitchell has been suspended as coach of the Lions Super rugby side in Johannesburg following complaints from players.
Franchise president Kevin de Klerk says the complaints which he describes as quite serious will be investigated.
De Klerk wouldnot elaborate on the complaints but said they came from a substantial number of players and could not be taken lightly.
Mitchell's assistant coaches, former All Blacks first five Carlos Spencer and former Springbok lock Johan Ackermann, will take over the coaching side.
Mitchell, 48, joined the Lions in mid-2010 and steered them to the Currie Cup title last year, but their Super Rugby form has been poor.