World Rugby Election Result Announced As Chairman Battle Goes To The Wire
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Sir Bill Beaumont has been elected as World Rugby chairman for a second term, pipping Argentinian Agustín Pichot to the post. Beaumont achieved a first-round simple majority of 28-23.
Standing unopposed, Fédération Française de Rugby President Bernard Laporte was elected the new Vice-Chairman. A new Executive Committee was also confirmed with seven new members elected to join the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Chief Executive and two independents Angela Ruggiero and Lord Mervyn Davies.
The results will officially be confirmed at World Rugby’s annual meeting of Council on 12 May after which the new leadership’s four-year mandate will begin. Both candidates agreed to an early announcement given the process concluded at the first round stage and no further votes were required for the Vice-Chairman and Executive Committee positions.
“I am honoured to accept the mandate of the World Rugby Council to serve as the international federation’s Chairman once again and would like to thank my union and region colleagues, members of the global rugby family and, of course, my family for their full support,” Beaumont said.
“I would like to thank Gus for his friendship and support over the last four years. While we stood against each other in this campaign, we aligned in many ways, and I have the utmost respect for him. Gus is passionate about the sport and his contribution has been significant.”
Beaumont has called on the organisation to get to work, deliver the sport’s response to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic and implement progressive change.
“Over the last four years we have achieved a lot, but we are at half-time and need to press on in the second half. I now have a clear mandate to work with Bernard to implement progressive, sustainable change,” Beaumont added.
“As an organisation, we must lead, be transparent, accountable and continue to serve for all. We must be united in our drive to make this great sport even better, simpler, safer and more accessible. We must listen to players, fans, competitions, our unions and regions, and take decisions that are in the best interests of all with our strong values to the fore.
“Now is not the time for celebration. We have work to do. We are tackling COVID-19 and must implement an appropriate return-to-rugby strategy that prioritises player welfare, while optimising any opportunity to return to international rugby this year in full collaboration with club competitions for the good of players, fans and the overall financial health of the sport.
“I am determined to ensure that the spirit of unity and solidarity that has characterised our work in response to an unprecedented global COVID-19 pandemic, is the cornerstone of a new approach that will deliver a stronger, more sustainable game when we emerge with new enthusiasm, a renewed purpose and an exciting future.”
The new Executive Committee will now comprise of: Sir Bill Beaumont (Chairman), Bernard Laporte (Vice-Chairman), Brett Gosper (Chief Executive), Angela Ruggiero (Independent), Lord Mervyn Davies (Independent); Mark Alexander (South African Rugby Union), Khaled Babbou (Rugby Africa), Bart Campbell (New Zealand Rugby), Gareth Davies (Welsh Rugby Union), John Jeffrey (Scottish Rugby), Bob Latham (USA Rugby) and Brett Robinson (Rugby Australia).