GUY NOVES has been named successor to Philippe Saint-Andre as France's next head coach, beating former English coach Clive Woodward to the post.
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.