France will not have a foreign coach post 2019 World Cup following a referendum released on Friday where clubs have voted against the idea.
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.
"I will respect this choice," said federation head Bernard Laporte.
The result is a further setback on the FFR after an industrial tribunal ordered the board to pay €1 million in compensation for the sacking of coach Guy Noves, who guided France to seven wins from 22 games before he was eventually replaced by Jacques Brunel.
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.
France are grouped in Pool C along with England, Argentina, United States and Tonga in the 2019 World Cup scheduled in Japan.