Sir Bill Beaumont has called on the game to become more united than ever and get working immediately to achieve sustainable growth in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic after being elected for a second term as World Rugby Chairman.
Beaumont achieved a first-round simple majority of 28-23 in the election which was independently managed by PwC, standing against Agustín Pichot. 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 first round stage and no further votes were required for the Vice-Chairman and Executive Committee positions.
Beaumont, in partnership with Laporte, will build on strong foundations to deliver a mandate of progressive reform, uniting stakeholders for the betterment of the game for all.
This will include enhanced governance reform, an aligned and integrated approach to the global calendar, accelerated prioritisation of player welfare, injury-prevention and modified contact variants, accelerated promotion of the women’s game and sustainable investment the sport.
Work is progressing on a global women’s 15s competition and a global men’s emerging nations 15s competition that, alongside a record number of fixtures against top nations, targets union competition needs, provides opportunity for all, enhances Rugby World Cup performance and delivers an annual champion.
“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.
The new Executive Committee will comprise: 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).
Early announcement rationale
Voting for the position of World Rugby Chairman closed on 30 April. There were 51 votes available to be cast and the Chairman did not have a vote.
The independent vote chair from PwC informed the World Rugby Council on Friday that there was no need for another round of voting in the election.
In line with the process, the outcome and vote numbers were not communicated by PwC and were therefore unknown to the candidates, Council and World Rugby staff.
Given no further rounds were required and no election was necessary to appoint the Vice-Chairman and Executive Committee members, World Rugby consulted with both candidates and its independent legal advisors regarding the announcement process being brought forward. All agreed.
The PwC independent vote chair contacted Council members at 15:00 BST on Saturday 2 May to confirm the voting results. Nobody within World Rugby knew the outcome before this time, including the candidates.