Power stays in the north
BREAKING NEWS: The power base of World Rugby will stay in the Northern Hemisphere!
Bill Beaumont has been re-elected for a second term as World Rugby Chairman.
Beaumont beat off the challenge of his only rival and former Vice-Chairman Agustín Pichot.
Pichot lost his spot on the World Rugby executive and is out in the wilderness, as he did not stand for any other position.
Beaumont, 68, achieved a first-round simple majority of 28-23 in the election.
Felicitaciones Bill/Congratulations Bill!!!
No se dio. Gracias a todos!!!! De corazon / Not this time, thanks to all fo the support , from the bottom of my heart. #globalgame
— Agustín Pichot (@AP9_) May 2, 2020
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 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 his acceptance speech, 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.
I am honoured to have been re-elected as Chairman of World Rugby. I would like to thank my union and region colleagues, members of the global rugby family and, of course my family, for all their support
— Sir Bill Beaumont (@BillBeaumont) May 2, 2020
Now is not the time for celebration. We have further work to do in our response to COVID-19. We must be united and drive to make this great sport even better, simpler, safer and more accessible
— Sir Bill Beaumont (@BillBeaumont) May 2, 2020
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.
In the release of the results World Rugby said this will include “enhanced governance reform, an aligned and integrated approach to the global calendar”.
(Continue reading below … )
“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,” Beaumont said.
“I would like to thank Gus for his friendship and support over the last four years. While we stood against each other in this campaign, we aligned in many ways, and I have the utmost respect for him. Gus is passionate about the sport and his contribution has been significant.”
Beaumont has called on the organisation to get to work, deliver the sport’s response to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic and implement progressive change.
“Over the last four years we have achieved a lot, but we are at half-time and need to press on in the second half. I now have a clear mandate to work with Bernard to implement progressive, sustainable change.
“As an organisation, we must lead, be transparent, accountable and continue to serve for all. We must be united in our drive to make this great sport even better, simpler, safer and more accessible. We must listen to players, fans, competitions, our unions and regions, and take decisions that are in the best interests of all with our strong values to the fore.
“Now is not the time for celebration. We have work to do. We are tackling COVID-19 and must implement an appropriate return-to-rugby strategy that prioritises player welfare, while optimising any opportunity to return to international rugby this year in full collaboration with club competitions for the good of players, fans and the overall financial health of the sport.
“I am determined to ensure that the spirit of unity and solidarity that has characterised our work in response to an unprecedented global COVID-19 pandemic, is the cornerstone of a new approach that will deliver a stronger, more sustainable game when we emerge with new enthusiasm, a renewed purpose and an exciting future.”
Laporte added: “Congratulations to my friend Sir Bill Beaumont on his re-election. I would also like to express my best wishes to Agustín Pichot, a legend of Argentinian rugby and a great rugby leader. 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.
“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. 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.”
The new Executive Committee will comprise:
Bill Beaumont (Chairman)
Bernard Laporte (Vice-Chairman)
Brett Gosper (Chief Executive)
Board members: Angela Ruggiero (Independent), 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), 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 on Saturday, May 2, to confirm the voting results.
Nobody within World Rugby knew the outcome before this time, including the candidates.