Rugby

Beaumont pips Pichot to World Rugby chairperson post

2020-05-02 16:24
Bill Beaumont
Bill Beaumont (AFP)

Former England captain Bill Beaumont has been re-elected as World Rugby chairperson beating ex-Argentina skipper Agustin Pichot, the governing body announced on Saturday.

SIGN UP | Click to receive Rob Houwing's weekly 'Rucking with Rob' newsletter!

Beaumont, 68, who campaigned on the promise of opening up the sport, claimed 28 of the 51 votes to overcome the 45-year-old Pichot who planned to modernise the body and used the hashtag #GlobalGame on social media.

"I am honoured to accept the mandate of the World Rugby Council to serve as the international federation's chairperson 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," said Beaumont in a statement released by World Rugby.

The announcement of the results was brought forward from the original date of May 12 due to the smoothness of the voting process.

Beaumont, who will have another four-year tenure, will be joined by the French Rugby Federation's chief Bernard Laporte as his vice-chairperson.

"Congratulations to my friend Sir Bill Beaumont on his re-election. I would also like to express my best wishes to Agustin Pichot, a legend of Argentinian rugby and a great rugby leader," said Laporte, who is set to oversee France hosting the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

"I also want to thank all unions who have expressed their opinion in this important ballot, giving a clear mandate for the governance which Bill and I will undertake on their behalf," he added.

The election process had been overshadowed by the resignation of Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) chairperson Francis Kean from the world body's council after accusations of "rampant homophobia".

Beaumont's bid was seconded by the Pacific Island union but World Rugby stressed the former lock's nomination came from the FRU, rather than from Kean.

Beaumont, who made 41 Test appearances for England as well as the British and Irish Lions before retiring in 1982, has overseen a $100 million relief package for the game during the coronavirus pandemic.

USA Rugby filed for bankruptcy in March and Rugby Australia said it was to lose Au$120 million in revenue if the rest of their season was lost due to the outbreak.

"During this unprecedented and global Covid-19 crisis, we must act and unite unions from the north and south and the professional leagues around a common objective to define a strong and sustainable future for all," he said. 

"We will pursue these reforms together and act in solidarity with the rugby family, to drive the game forward on and off the field, further the welfare of our players and make the sport more attractive and accessible."

Pichot, who retired from the sport 11 years ago and had been World Rugby vice-chairperson since 2016, hinted at trying for the main position again in the future.

"Not this time, thanks to all for the support, from the bottom of my heart. #globalgame," Pichot posted on Twitter on Saturday.

Read more on:    world rugby  |  bill beaumont  |  rugby

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2019/20 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
Vote

Debate rages! Who is the greatest ever Springbok hooker ... John Smit, Bismarck du Plessis or someone else perhaps?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.