Dublin - Former England captain Bill Beaumont was on Wednesday elected
chairperson of World Rugby and vowed to strengthen the game around the
world and increase player protection.
Beaumont, 64, succeeds Frenchman Bernard Lapasset and will work
alongside new vice-chairperson Agustin Pichot, the former Argentina
Both men, who stood unopposed, will officially take up their roles on July 1.
"I am honoured to accept the mandate of council to serve as World
Rugby chairperson at what is an exciting and pivotal time for the sport,"
Beaumont said in a World Rugby statement.
Beaumont won 34 caps for England and captained his country to a Five
Nations Grand Slam success in 1980. He also captained the British and
Irish Lions, for whom he played seven times.
After retiring, he carved out a career as a regular guest on British
television quiz show 'A Question of Sport', before returning to rugby as
He is the Rugby Football Union and Six Nations Rugby chairman, was
World Rugby vice-chairperson from 2007 to 2012 and also served on the
body's executive committee and the Rugby World Cup board.
"Rugby has experienced significant and rapid growth, which is a
credit to Bernard Lapasset and his leadership over the past eight
years," added Beaumont, who will serve a four-year term.
"The sport is in excellent health and over the next four years there
will be many great opportunities to further develop and grow the game.
"However, we cannot be complacent. Rugby, like all sports, faces
challenges and my manifesto outlines the five priorities focused on
"These priorities are continuing to protect players, preserving
integrity, enhancing global competition, optimising partnerships and
empowering and strengthening unions.
"I will nurture the roots of rugby, our fundamental values and
financial security and will make rugby decisions for rugby reasons.
"As World Rugby chairperson, I will work with unions over the next four
years to deliver healthy, sustainable growth for the game we all love."
Lapasset served as chairperson for eight years, over two terms, but
decided not to seek a third term in order to focus on leading the Paris
bid for the 2024 Olympic Games.
"Rugby is in great shape around the world, and I am proud that I
vacate the position after eight wonderful years, during which we have
achieved record participation, increased interest and engagement,
Olympic inclusion and record-breaking Rugby World Cups," Lapasset said.
"I leave with a dynamic new governance model implemented, and I am
delighted that my colleague and friend, Bill Beaumont - with a clear
vision and strong passion for the global development of rugby - will
drive the game into this exciting period."
Beaumont and Pichot were due to address the media later on Wednesday.