- Brunel was once ex France boss Laporte's right-hand man as forwards coach from 2001-2007.
Guy Noves was sacked on Wednesday as France coach after two torrid years at the helm with former Italy boss Jacques Brunel named as his successor, French rugby federation president Bernard Laporte announced.
Brunel, 63, joins the national set-up from Top 14 side Bordeaux-Begles just five weeks before France face Ireland in their Six Nations opener.
His contract stretches to the 2019 World Cup in Japan, Laporte told a press conference at a Paris hotel, and he will be assisted in a break from tradition before each game by "a pool of five or six" Top 14 coaches.
Laporte hailed Brunel for his passion "of man and rugby".
"That's his major strength. He is able to assume this responsibility which is not an easy one. He has broad shoulders and experience," said the French rugby chief.
Noves, also 63, suffers the ignominy of becoming the first Les Bleus manager in history to be axed.
He has paid the price for the worst record of any France coach with a meagre seven wins from 22 matches (21 Tests), alongside 14 defeats and a humiliating home draw with 2019 World Cup hosts Japan.
Under his watch France lost six consecutive games between June and November this year.