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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

Laporte revealed his choice on the Super Moscato Show on Friday indicating he wants the current Ireland boss to take over from Jacques Brunel after the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Among 1742 amateur clubs available in the country, only 900 participated in the voting out of which 59% decided against having a foreign coach despite the French Federation had a number of choices including Warren Gatland, Joe Schmidt, Sir Clive Woodward and John Mitchell among the shortlist.

Only 51 per cent of clubs responded, with 59 per cent of those saying they would not support the idea, while 41 per cent said they would.

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

France are joined by England, Argentina, USA and Tonga in Pool C of this year's World Cup and are due to appoint a successor to Jacques Brunel after the tournament.

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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.

"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.

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

"The question of the French or foreign nationality of the coach of the XV of France is sometimes a debate. We can move forward serenely to build the necessary conditions with the goal of winning the World Cup in 2023". "Once again, we will try to copy others instead of being proud of who we are", he told Le Parisien, describing it as, "a snub for some talented technicians who do excellent work in their respective clubs, such as the team of Laurent Travers and Laurent Labit, Ugo Mola or Franck Azema".