Laporte made Joe Schmidt his number one choice to coach France

The FFR asked all of France's clubs whether they would support the appointment of a foreign coach for the first time in the team's history

The FFR asked all of France's clubs whether they would support the appointment of a foreign coach for the first time in the team's history

The French Rugby Federation says 59% of the clubs who voted in the referendum did not agree with the idea.

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.

"It's important for me to give the floor to the clubs", Laporte said.

Jacques Brunel, the current head coach of the national side, is set to leave his role after the World Cup later this year.

"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. For two years, the FFR has taken a turning point in democratization.

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In a statement released after the result was announced, Laporte said: "The XV of France belongs first and foremost to the amateur rugby clubs that train our future worldwide players". To define this orientation, the clubs were 59% not to wish a breeder of foreign nationality. "We can move forward calmly to build the necessary conditions with the objective of winning the World Cup in 2023".

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

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.

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. "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.

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