Source: Mike Lee KLC Fotos for World Rugby

Sir Bill Beaumont re-elected

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Sir Bill Beaumont has been re-elected Chairman of World Rugby, to serve for four more years.

He faced stiff opposition from Agustin Pichot, as heroic a figure in Argentinian rugby as Beaumont in English. The voting was 28 to 23.

Bernard Laporte, head of French Rugby, was elected unopposed as vice-chair.

Their combined strategy includes accelerating the advancement of women’s rugby, including a world women’s 15s competition (here called ‘global’ to avoid confusion with the RWC).

As the voting ran largely along regional lines – all the 6 Nations allegedly supported the winner – the choice of two Europeans to run the show may appear unfortunate. But at least it allows them to collaborate close to WR’s headquarters in Dublin. Unity is a key word in Beaumont’s policy statement.

The biggest headache facing WR is the immediate one: how to combat the effects of Covid-19. Every aspect of the game is touched by it, not least its financial base.

The only female member of the Executive Committee is the re-elected Angela Ruggiero, distinguished American Olympic gold medallist and former Executive Board member of the IOC. There are seven new members of the EC.

The new 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).