French clubs vote against national team having foreign coach

PARIS — French rugby has said "non" to having a foreign-born coach for its national team.

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? YES or NO."

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

FFR president Bernard Laporte says "I welcome this democratic expression and, of course, I will respect this choice."

Only 51% of clubs participated in the vote.

The current France coach, Jacques Brunel, is leaving his post after the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, which starts in September. Laporte had raised the possibility of the national team hiring a foreign coach for the first time.

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