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Noves beats Woodward to France job

Sir Clive Woodward has missed out on becoming France's next head coach after the French Rugby Federation appointed Guy Noves as successor to Philippe Saint-Andre.

Noves will replace the underperforming Saint-Andre following this autumn's World Cup after emerging as the FFR's preferred choice from the eight candidates interviewed for the position.

Among the eight who entered the secret ballot won by Noves was Woodward, the mastermind of England's World Cup triumph in 2003.

Noves, who will fill the role for four years, is a surprise appointment. Despite guiding Toulouse to an unprecedented four European Cups titles and 10 French championship crowns, the 61-year-old has not won anything since 2010.

"I am very happy and proud of this appointment. Being France's head coach and representing my country is a great honour and a great responsibility," Noves said.

"I am the first supporter of the French national team and I wish them with all my heart to have a great World Cup."

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