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Fancy succeeding Philippe Saint-André as France coach? Here's how to apply...

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THE FRENCH RUGBY Federation [FFR] has announced a call for applications to succeed Philippe Saint-André as France’s head coach after the Rugby World Cup.

France head coach Philippe Saint Andre This man will be vacating the France job on 31 October. Source: Inpho/Billy Stickland

Saint-André’s contract expires at the conclusion of the global tournament and it has been widely known for some time that the former Toulon boss will not be handed a renewal.

Les Bleus‘ record under Saint-André has been far from impressive, as France have failed to finish higher than fourth in the Six Nations since he took over in 2012. Indeed, the feeling is that Saint-André has failed to harness the individual talent available to him.

Nevertheless, Saint-André will lead France into the World Cup, where they contest Pool D with Ireland, Italy, Romania and Canada. The former international wing’s contract expires on 31 October, the day of the final at Twickenham.

It is widely expected that current Bordeaux coach Raphaël Ibañez is the man who will take over from Saint-André, with his work in the Top 14 since 2012 having been excellent. Formerly an abrasive, skillful hooker with Wasps and Saracens, Ibañez has comfortably adapted to the coaching world.

His Bordeaux side consistently play the most attractive rugby in France’s top tier, as well as being highly intelligent around the set-piece. Assistant coach Joe Worsley has done superb work with the club’s defence, and it would be interesting to see if Ibañez brings him into the France set-up too.

Raphael Ibanez co-presenting the draw Ibañez is the heavy favourite to succeed PSA. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Bordeaux have punched above their financial weight under Ibañez and he would be a popular choice to replace Saint-André for the next World Cup cycle. Other names currently in the mix are Fabien Galthié, Guy Novés, Fabien Pelous and Racing Métro duo Laurent Labit and Laurent Travers.

The FFR’s appel à candidature is more than likely a formality, but that may not prevent ambitious coaches around the world from putting their names into the mix.

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Become a Member

The official call for applications states that each candidate’s cover letter must include:

  • their game plan
  • their plan for a coaching team

All applications must be received before Saturday, 25 April and should be addressed to:

Monsieur le Président de la Fédération Française de Rugby,
3-5 rue Jean de Montaigu,
91463 Marcoussis Cedex,
France.

Best of luck to all.

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Murray Kinsella

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