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Laporte to seek extended tenure as French Rugby Federation president

French Rugby Federation (FFR) president Bernard Laporte has said he will stand for a second term in office, but added that this will be his last spell in charge if he gains re-election.

The former France national team coach, who also served as the country’s Secretary of State for Youth and Sport from 2007 to 2009, was elected as the FFR’s new president in December 2016.

The 53-year-old, who last week played a key part in the bid team that delivered the 2023 World Cup to France, has implemented a rule limiting presidents to two four-year terms in office and he has now said he intends to fulfil that tenure, adding that he doesn’t want to replicate the lengthy periods of power enjoyed by previous incumbents.

“I opposed what we call the barons, those who stayed 50 or 60 years at the federation, and I don't want to be part of such an adventure,” Laporte (pictured) told French television channel viaOccitanie.

“I want to do well over two mandates, I'll stand again in 2020. I want to bring the necessary energy and then make way for someone else to bring their experience and energy. That's how I see things.”

Laporte picked up 52.56 per cent of the votes from the FFR Steering Committee in last year’s election. Outgoing president Pierre Camou came second with 35.28 per cent of the votes, while Alain Doucet received 12.16 per cent at the FFR General Assembly.

Camou’s predecessor, Bernard Lapasset, had served as FFR president for 17 years and before that Albert Ferrasse led the federation for 23 years.

France is set to host major sporting events in consecutive years after it last week landed the rights to the 2023 World Cup, despite World Rugby having earlier recommended South Africa’s bid. The 2023 World Cup will precede Paris’ staging of the 2024 summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

The decision of rugby union’s world governing body, World Rugby, went against the recommendation made by the Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) Board last month. It then appeared that South Africa was set to land the 2023 World Cup after the RWCL Board unanimously recommended the country’s bid over that of proposals from France and Ireland. 

The process moved to a vote by the World Rugby Council which comprised a total of 39 votes, with a simple majority required to confirm South Africa as host. However, the first round of voting saw France gain 18 votes, to 13 for South Africa and eight for Ireland. The second round saw France clinch the World Cup with 24 votes to South Africa’s 15.