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Noves: 'Money was so secondary'

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For someone who had just won a million euro, Noves' Monday celebration was rather novel

Guy Noves celebrated the vindication of his good name at an employment tribunal on Monday… by going to collect his granddaughter from school.

The former France coach learned at the tribunal hearing verdict in Toulouse that he had been awarded E1million in damages after being cleared of any serious wrong-doing in his short-lived role as France coach.

He was sacked in December 2017 and it wasn’t until February this year that he got his opportunity to take the French rugby federation to task for its actions, Noves attending a hearing that finally received its outcome nearly eight weeks later.

“It’s not a revenge,” he told L’Equipe when asked what his over-riding emotion was following the case. “After a revenge, we think it’s over. I will never forget. But revenge, no. These are people who do not interest me, that I do not wish to rub shoulders.

“Is it their defeat or my victory? I do not know. But my honour is washed. It is the most important. After the verdict, I went to get my little girl out of school (Eloise, the eight-year-old daughter of Vincent Clerc and his daughter Valerie).

“You know what she told me? ‘Grandpa, you won your case!’ That’s what is important to me. Money was so secondary in this business. This money, I do not need it to live, so I have never imagined what I will do with it.

“I felt like I was hibernating for 15 months, as if stuck in an ice cube. Tonight (Monday night), I’m happy. I see again! This weekend, I will attend Toulouse-Clermont. I will finally find myself in my world, with my pride and my honour. It’s essential with health.”

Noves wouldn’t confirm if he is interested in a return to rugby coaching. “It’s still too early. I do not know what will be my future… I’m coming out of a trial that I’ve been waiting for 15 months. I had been waiting for the decision for so long.

“I just want to recover those sleepless nights. It’s very hard to be accused when you have not done anything. The feeling of injustice was very important. Let me finally rest.”

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For someone who had just won a million euro, Noves' Monday celebration was rather novel