Noves only won seven of his 21 matches in charge of France, the final straw coming with a November 2017 23-all draw in Paris with Japan.
He was sacked the following month by French Rugby Federation (FFR) and replaced by Jacques Brunel, but he is now seeking compensation worth around €2.9m, a sum consisting of the remaining wages due and various damages.
Pourquoi Novès réclame près de 3 millions d’euros à la Fédération française de rugby https://t.co/3vrQSFJHiX
— Le Parisien (@le_Parisien) February 5, 2019
A €3m pay-out would be a costly lump sum to stump up if they were to lose, but the FFR are looking forward to the tribunal with confidence.
“We are waiting for this hearing with a lot of serenity,” said FFR lawyer Joseph Aguera to French newspaper Le Parisian.
It is believed the French federation will allege that Noves had a brittle attitude towards his players and his relations were too distant with the Top 14 clubs.
The FFR legal team will rely on the statements of players, including in the press, to outline a “bad atmosphere” within the French squad.
They are also preparing to raise a number of legal points in relation to Noves’ contract which was due to run through to the end of the 2019 World Cup.
Apparently no mention of France’s recent results will be made by the FFR in their defence case as French fortunes haven’t improved since Noves’ axing.
They have won just three of their 12 matches so far under Brunel and fell victim to an opening round Six Nations defeat to Wales last Friday despite holding a 16-0 interval lead.
Noves believes the FFR’s failure to comply with employment procedures by the FFR, who initiated his dismissal without any prior interview, has given rise to his claim for significant damages.
Sign up to our mailing list here and we’ll keep you up to the minute with weekly updates from the world of rugby.