Updated: Friday, 25 April 2014 17:25 | By Agence France-Presse

Laporte says to run for French rugby presidency

Former national coach Bernard Laporte has said he intends to run for the presidency of the French Rugby Federation (FFR) in 2016.

Laporte says to run for French rugby presidency

Toulon's French head coach Bernard Laporte pictured during a press conference after the French Top 14 match against Lyon at the Mayol stadium in Toulon, southern France on December 23, 2011 - by Gerard Julien

The feisty Toulon coach told L'Equipe newspaper that he wanted to change things in the FFR, notably at the top where he said officials stayed too long in their positions.

"Yes, my mind is made up," he said in reply to being asked whether he would contest the presidency when it next comes up in 2016.

"First of all, though, I need to talk to my president (at Toulon, Mourad Boudjellal) and hear what he has to say.

"I intend to see my current contract through to 2015 and then, yes, I intend to put forward my candidacy in the elections of 2016.

"I have my own ideas and if I stand for election it is with a view to changing things."

Laporte said the first thing he would do if elected president would be to limit to two terms the length of time a president of the FFR or any executive board official could stay on.

"I find it totally unacceptable that there are people who have been in positions of authority in the federation for 30 years. They are egotists and are not there to serve the sport, only themselves."

The 49-year-old Laporte has a long record of being outspoken in a career that saw him earn praise as a coach of Bordeaux-Begles and Stade Francais before being national team coach from 1999 to 2007.

He took France to the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2003 and 2007 before standing down to become sports minister under President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Laporte returned to coaching in 2011 when Boudjellal lured him to big-spending Toulon and he has enjoyed success there, notably winning the European Cup last year.

But he found himself in trouble this year after insulting a match referee and is currently serving a 16-week touchline ban which runs until the end of the season.

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