A tribunal has ordered the French rugby federation (FFR) to pay one million euros in compensation to Guy Novès, the former national team coach. Noves was appointed just after the World Cup in the autumn of 2015 but was sacked in December 2017 after six consecutive defeats.
Days after his dismissal, Novès said he would sue the federation over the legality of his departure.
Nearly 18 months later, the tribunal in Toulouse agreed with the 65-year-old that there had been an abusive early termination of the contract without evidence of serious misconduct.
However, the hearing refused to accept Novès' claims of moral harassment but it did note the harm done to his reputation as the first man to be sacked during a contract.
Novès took over from Philippe Saint-André with glittering credentials.
Capped seven times by France as a winger, he followed up a 12-year playing career with Toulouse by becoming assistant coach and then head coach of the Top 14 outfit between 1993-2015.
Under Novès, Toulouse won four European Cups and nine domestic titles. However once installed in the top job, he could not convert that excellence to the national set-up. He started his reign with two victories but other triumphs were rare.
When the FFR boss, Bernard Laporte, showed Novès the door, there had been 14 defeats, seven victories and one draw during the 22 match reign.
His replacement, Jacques Brunel, has not fared much better. His sides have claimed five wins in 16 games.