Joe Schmidt targeted by Bernard Laporte for French job

Joe Schmidt targeted by Bernard Laporte for French job”

Every amateur rugby club in France was asked to vote on the following question: "Would you agree with the appointment of a coach from overseas at the head of France's men's team?"

Laporte in a statement said he would accept the result, before later admitting on French radio RMC that he had hoped to appoint Schmidt following.

French rugby president Bernard Laporte has revealed Joe Schmidt would have been his preferred choice to replace Jacues Brunel as coach.

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt.

The result of the vote also rules Warren Gatland out of contention, with the Kiwi stepping down as head coach of Wales after the World Cup. There were two who told me that they could not, I went into discussions but I said: "We will hold a referendum".

In the southern hemisphere, the All Blacks have always had a Kiwi coach and the Springboks always a South African, while Australia had ex-All Black centre Robbie Deans at the helm between 2008-13.

Schmidt announced that he will retire from coaching after the 2019 World Cup and Andy Farrell will succeed him as Ireland boss.

The FFR was last week ordered to pay Burnel's predecessor, Guy Noves, more than $1.67m in compensation.

Under Brunel, France had a disappointing Six Nations tournament where they managed to finish fourth on the table and overall has only managed five wins from 16 games since he took in charge of the side.

French hopes for a good showing at the World Cup - where they have been drawn with England, Argentina, the United States and Tonga in a tough-looking Pool C - rest on the likes of up-and-coming Romain Ntamack and Antoine Dupont, who have steered Toulouse into the semi-finals of the European Champions Cup.

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