Following confirmation by the French Federation of current Toulon coach, Philippe Saint-André, as France's new national coach, the exact date when he will take over following the World Cup has not yet been decided.
As Toulon begin their search for a successor in earnest, Pierre Camou, the FFR president, said that Saint-André would "start his duties when he decides. December 1 is no more than the day that his contract begins."
With a view to no immediate further disruption of the French clubs who have started their Top 14 season and who kick off their Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup campaigns in November, Saint-André's assistants will not be named until after the World Cup.
The 44-year-old former France captain's first coaching job was with Gloucester before he moved to Bourgoin and then on to Sale Sharks with whom he won the English Premiership in 2006. He returned to France and Toulon in 2009 reaching the Amlin Challenge Cup final and the French Championship semi-final in 2010.
He replaces Marc Lievremont who stands down as national coach following the World Cup.
As part of the build-up to next month's Cardiff 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals weekend, ERC has joined forces with the WRU, Cardiff Blues and adidas to develop an annual grassroots community rugby programme targeting young players.
The Ulster Rugby full back, Jared Payne (No 15), has been suspended for two (2) weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin arising from the Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Saracens at Ravenhill Stadium on Saturday, 5 April.