French clubs vote against foreign coach for national team

Bernard Laporte says the FFR will respect the clubs' decision

Bernard Laporte says the FFR will respect the clubs decision

France's next rugby coach will not come from overseas after amateur clubs voted against the idea in a referendum initiated by Laporte, the FFR said on Friday.

Overall, 59 per cent of the amateur clubs were against a foreign coach taking over les Bleus.

The referendum took place between Tuesday and Thursday and saw 59 percent of amateur clubs vote "no" when asked if the next head coach of the France national team should be a non-French citizen.

"I welcome this democratic expression and of course, I will respect this choice". For two years, the FFR has taken a turning point in democratization.

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

Laporte opened the debate in the wake of France finishing a disappointing fourth in this season's Six Nations, saying at the time that he had not ruled out appointing a first-ever foreign coach to replace Brunel, with France to host the next World Cup in 2023.

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"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".

He also recently promised he would appoint Brunel's successor before the World Cup in Japan kicked off.

France's next head coach will not be Warren Gatland or Joe Schmidt, or any foreign coach for that matter.

"I have chose to finish coaching and will prioritise family commitments after the Rugby World Cup in 2019", Schmidt said in a statement issued by the IRFU. "He speaks French like you and me and he coached at Clermont", he told RMC Sport.

The result of the club's referendum caps a traumatic week for the FFR, which was on Monday ordered by an industrial tribunal to pay one million euros in compensation to sacked national coach Guy Noves.

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