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.