Published: Sun, April 14, 2019
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Joe Schmidt preferred candidate for French job before clubs referendum result

Joe Schmidt preferred candidate for French job before clubs referendum result

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

"I will respect this choice", said federation head Bernard Laporte, who has made handing power back to the clubs the motif of his bid for re-election as FFR chief in 2020.

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

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

"The preparation of the 2023 World Cup, which we are proud to organise in France, is a great opportunity to associate them with the choice of the future coach". To decide this, 59 per cent of the clubs do not to want a coach of foreign nationality. "We can move forward calmly to build the necessary conditions with the objective of winning the World Cup in 2023".

The next head coach of France will not be Warren Gatland - or any other overseas coach.

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". "There are some that I saw a second time".

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.

Schmidt, like Brunel, is finishing up with Ireland after the World Cup and has said he will return to New Zealand.

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt. "The management and players have been incredible to work with and the tremendous support we have had, particularly at home in the Aviva, but wherever we have travelled, has been uplifting".

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