French rugby clubs vote against foreign coach for national team

Tanya Simon
April 14, 2019

"I will respect this choice", said federation head Bernard Laporte.

France are grouped in Pool C along with England, Argentina, United States and Tonga in the 2019 World Cup scheduled in Japan.

Laporte responded to the clubs' decision, saying: "It's important for me to give the floor to the clubs".

"The XV de France belongs first and foremost to the amateur rugby clubs that train our future worldwide players".

"The question of the French or foreign nationality of the coach of the XV of France is sometimes a debate for insiders and enthusiasts".

France will host the next World Cup in 2023 - with a French coach at Les Bleus' helm. To define this orientation, 59% of clubs did not want a foreign coach.

Former All Black Warren Gatland will not be taking over France following the Rugby World Cup after French clubs rejected the notion of a foreign coach. "We can move forward calmly to build the necessary conditions with the objective of winning the World Cup in 2023".

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"I saw a lot of people talking for me", Laporte said on the Super Moscato Show on RMC.

World Cup hosts Japan now have ex-All Black Jamie Joseph as head coach, having appointed Frenchman Jean-Pierre Elissalde as their first foreign coach in 2005.

"I have made a decision to finish coaching and will prioritise family commitments after the Rugby World Cup in 2019", Schmidt said in a statement issued by the IRFU.

Laporte had not named any possible replacements for the 65-year-old Brunel before speaking to French radio, but had said he had "gone to meet the five best coaches in the world to offer them the job".

France is alone among Europe's leading rugby union nations in never having employed a foreign head coach.

"I feel that Irish rugby is in good hands".

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