Johannesburg - Australian Rugby Union (ARU) chief executive John O'Neill was
appointed to the 2015 Rugby World Cup board on Thursday, as was Wales
Rugby Union (WRU) chairperson David Pickering.
O'Neill and Pickering will join International Rugby Board
(IRB) chairperson Bernard Lapasset of France and South African
vice-chairperson Oregan Hoskins on the board overseeing the 2015 World Cup
Former England captain Bill Beaumont did not seek
re-appointment due to a potential conflict of interest should he become
chairman of the Rugby Football Union.
Dr Syd Millar, the former IRB chairperson, also stood aside, with Pickering and O'Neill elected unopposed.
As well as overseeing plans for 2015, the board is
responsible for presiding over the delivery of the 2013 World Cup Sevens
in Russia, the 2014 Women's Rugby World Cup in France and working on
the 2019 World Cup in Japan.
"These are exciting times for rugby and Rugby World Cup properties continue to go from strength to strength," said Lapasset.
In October, during the World Cup in New Zealand, O'Neill
- who plans to stand down from his ARU post in 2013 - said the IRB had
to tackle the negative financial consequences affecting leading
southern hemisphere sides when they participated in rugby union's global
O'Neill said the ARU would lose $A16 million from taking
part in the 2011 World Cup, with the amount for the three SANZAR (South
Africa, New Zealand and Australia) nations hitting $A38 million
O'Neill, in a criticism of the IRB, added at the time:
"We're 16 years into the professional era and a lot of things have
happened. But everyone's got to move with the times and I think it's
timely to have a serious look at the governance and management
structures of the IRB."