France will not appoint foreign rugby coach after clubs referendum

France fans
The decision on the nationality of a new coach was put to French amateur rugby clubs in a vote

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

It comes after a referendum of the country's amateur rugby clubs ruled out a non-Frenchman taking charge.

More than half the clubs who voted - 59% - said they would not support the appointment of a foreigner to replace Jacques Brunel after the 2019 World Cup.

French Federation president Bernard Laporte promised to respect the result.

"I welcome this democratic expression and of course I will respect that choice," Laporte said.

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.

Gatland is leaving his role as Wales coach after 12 years following the World Cup in Japan and continues to be a leading candidate to replace Eddie Jones as England boss.

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