Laporte made Joe Schmidt his number one choice to coach France

Ross Houston
April 14, 2019

Federation president Bernard Laporte - himself a former French national team coach - said 59 per cent of the 900 clubs which responded were opposed to hiring a foreigner.

The next leader of French rugby will not be a foreign one after French amateur clubs decided against appointing a non-French coach, the BBC report.

This presents a huge problem for Laporte as he has tried to make the FFR a more democratic organisation as they prepare to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023.

It comes after a referendum of the country's amateur rugby clubs ruled out a non-Frenchman taking charge. The preparation of the 2023 World Cup, which we are proud to have won the organization in France, is a great opportunity to associate them with the choice of the future coach.

"The question of the French or foreign nationality of the coach of the XV of France is sometimes a debate". To define this orientation, 59% of clubs did not want a foreign coach.

Laporte told radio station RMC his preferred option to succeed current coach Jacques Brunel was Ireland boss Joe Schmidt.

Wales coach Warren Gatland's name repeatedly cropped up in articles, as pundits installed him as favourite for the job.

"We have to go as fast as possible, I also have French coaches on the phone".

Since Marc Lievremont took Les Bleus to the 2011 World Cup final, France have failed to live up to their reputation, finishing only once in the top three of the Six Nations.

The result is a further setback on the FFR after an industrial tribunal ordered the board to pay €1 million in compensation for the sacking of coach Guy Noves, who guided France to seven wins from 22 games before he was eventually replaced by Jacques Brunel.

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