After weeks of speculation, Guy Noves, 63, was sacked on Wednesday as head coach of the XV of France. His two assistants were also dismissed.
Noves, the first France rugby coach in history to be axed, received a registered letter from the French Rugby Federation (FFR) requesting his appearance at a meeting “prior to dismissal for serious misconduct.”
Jacques Brunel, 63, former Italy coach from 2012-2016 and France assistant from 2001-2007, was named as Noves successor.
“These are painful moments,” FFR President
FFR president Bernard Laporte announced the dismissal of Noves and his assistants at a news conference on Wednesday.
“These are painful moments, it's difficult for me too,” Laporte said. “Guy Noves was no longer the right man for the situation.”
Under Noves watch, France managed only seven victories from 22 matches, alongside 14 defeats and a draw.
“We sensed that he was on the downward slope, we want to get back to the France team that wins,” Laporte said. “The decision was taken recently. I didn't take it alone, we consulted everyone.”
In November 19, after a 17-18 loss to South Africa, Noves reacted with anger and sarcasm when asked if he was worried for his future.
“With all due respect, you're tiring me with this question. I won't answer questions about it,” he said. “I don't ask myself questions about my future. I'm a family man, I have three children, and everyone's fine, thanks.”
Noves contests dismissal
On Friday, Noves contested the legality of the procedure initiated against him.
“This brutal rupture occurred without any prior procedure, that is to say in violation of the rights and essential guarantees provided for by law,” Noves said in a statement transmitted to AFP.
The 63-year-old claimed that he was never called to an interview prior to the dismissal decision, and therefore doesn’t knows the reasons that could justify it.
In case of being found guilty of serious misconduct, the FFR would not have to pay Noves and his team their severance pays.