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Next France Coach Confirmed

 Aug 25,2011
Written by: Delon Cheketri
 

The French Rugby Federation (FFR) confirmed on Thursday that former France wing and current Toulon sporting director Philippe Saint-Andre would take over from Marc Lievremont as coach of the national team after the World Cup.

Reports of Saint-Andre's appointment have been across the French media since the start of the week but the FFR announcement made it official.

"The steering committee, which met today (Thursday) at the headquarters of the FFR in Marcoussis, has approved the appointment of Philippe Saint-Andre as the next coach of the XV of France," said the federation in a statement.

The 44-year-old Saint-Andre takes over from Lievremont who has been in position since replacing Bernard Laporte after the 2007 World Cup. He will begin his new role on December 1 with his first match against Italy in the Six Nations on February 4.

Lievremont announced in May 2010 that he would step down after taking the team to New Zealand.

Nicknamed "Le Goret" - or "The Pig" - Saint-Andre played the bulk of his club rugby for Clermont before moving to Gloucester in 1996. He won 69 caps for France between 1990 and 1997, captaining them 34 times.

His first coaching job came at Gloucester before he moved to Bourgoin and then Sale Sharks with whom he won the English championship in 2006.

He returned to France in 2009 with Toulon, reaching the semi-finals of the French championship in 2010.

According to Midi-Olympique, the newspaper which broke the news of his appointment on Monday, Saint-Andre will be joined by Toulouse forwards coach Yannick Bru and Biarritz coach Patrice Lagisquet - the "Bayonne Express" - who will look after the backs.

Toulouse head coach Guy Noves was the number one choice of the FFR but turned down the role to stay with the French champions.

Saint-Andre will appear at a press conference to be held in Toulon next Tuesday.

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