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France opt against appointing foreign coach following World Cup

France opt against appointing foreign coach following World Cup

Overall, 59 per cent of the amateur clubs were against a foreign coach taking over les Bleus. Only 51% of clubs took part in the vote so there may be wiggle room to revisit the topic down the line. We have set up direct democracy and referendums to involve clubs in important decisions.

Laporte had raised the possibility of the national team hiring a foreign coach for the first time.

"The XV of France belongs first to rugby clubs that train our future global players".

"The preparation of the 2023 World Cup, which we are proud to have won in France, is a great opportunity to involve them in the choice of the future coach". To define this orientation, the clubs were 59% not to wish a breeder of foreign nationality.

Laporte, who coached France at the 2003 and 2007 Rugby World Cups, felt the poll had delivered a clear result.

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French rugby president Bernard Laporte has revealed Joe Schmidt would have been his preferred choice to replace Jacues Brunel as coach.

Gatland, who will step down as Wales coach after the World Cup after 12 years in charge and three Six Nations grand slams, was considered a strong contender if France did not open its doors to a foreign coach.

Sir Clive Woodward and John Mitchell were also thought to be on the FFR's shortlist along with Gatland, while another New Zealander - Montpellier boss Vern Cotter - was also expected to be a contender.

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. "We have agreed that we have to switch quickly to the 2023 World Cup [cycle] in France", he said in an interview with Le Progrès.