Laporte: Brunel's call whether ROG joins French World Cup effort

French Rugby president Bernard Laporte has kicked to touch on the possibility of Ronan O'Gara being part of the country's World Cup coaching ticket, insisting it's a call for head coach Jacques Brunel.

Asked about the veracity of stories linking O'Gara and former France scrum-half Fabien Galthie to France's coaching staff for the autumn, Laporte said he was not "a president-selector" and did not want to encroach on Brunel's job.

"It's up to him (Brunel) to make the choice, to know who he wants to work with, or not, and, therefore, to take responsibility."

However the next France coach will be named before the team heads to the World Cup in September, Laporte said in an interview with regional newspaper Progress, and reported by AFP.

The decision to replace current coach Jacques Brunel immediately after the tournament in Japan represents a change of mind by Laporte. He said in October that the FFR planned to keep Brunel until the end of his contract in June 2020.

"We finally agreed that we had to switch quickly looking forward to the 2023 World Cup in France," Laporte, who was France coach from 1999 to 2007

Laporte did not name any possible replacements for the 65-year-old Brunel, who has been in charge since 2017, but said he had "gone to meet the five best coaches in the world to offer them the job".

Laporte did not rule out appointing a foreign coach for the first time.

"So often before, it was said that it was not possible, but today we're open to it," he said. "My only goal is to have the best to rebuild a France team that wins."

Laporte said he was "not satisfied with the results obtained" by France, who have just finished fourth in the Six Nations and are ranked eighth in the world.

At the World Cup, France are in a daunting group with England, Argentina, Tonga and the USA. But, said Laporte, if Les Bleus can "ensure they finish in the top two in the pool then everything is possible, with a little luck".

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