Laporte to quit
24 May 2006
French rugby union coach Bernard Laporte will quit his job at his contract’s end after next year’s World Cup.
“One thing is for sure, I will not be coach and I will not take over at a club,” Laporte told the weekly Rugby magazine when asked about his future after the next World Cup.
But he added that if he were ever to return to rugby, it would be to Paris giants Stade Francais, the club he led from the third division in 1995 to French champions three years later.
“That club taught me that above all rugby is a pleasure,” the 41-year-old Laporte said.
Named as France coach in November 1999, Laporte extended his contract by four years after the 2003 World Cup, when his side finished fourth.
He has also led the French side to three Six Nations titles (2002, 2004 and 2006), the first two after completing Grand Slams.
“I want to do something else,” Laporte said, expressing his interest in the food growing business. “When you’re a coach of a team you can’t do anything else.”
French rugby federation president Bernard Lapasset said Laporte’s comments came as no surprise. “It’s not a revelation for me,” Lapasset told AFP. “We have a very open relationship with Bernard Laporte. It’s part of why he’s lasted so well over the last eight years.”
Lapasset said that any talk of seeking a successor to Laporte was premature: “It’s not at all on the table. We have to get past the World Cup first.”