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World Rugby unveils new vice-chairman

NEWS: John Jeffrey was formally confirmed as World Rugby Vice-Chairman at the international federation’s Annual Meeting of Council held virtually on Thursday.


He is replacing the disgraced Bernard Laporte, who was convicted of corruption in France.

Hugely respected with a wealth of experience as a major player in the sport’s administrative structures, the former Scottish Rugby and Six Nations Chairman was elected following a call for nominations to fill the vacant position.

Jeffrey was the only candidate nominated. With the election ratified by the Council, Jeffrey will serve as Vice-Chairman for the remainder of the current term (through to November 2024).

According to reports, he was then widely expected to run for the top job when current chairman, England’s Bill Beaumont, steps down, opening the door for someone new to be his deputy.

Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan is considering throwing his hat into the ring for that vice-chairman role next year.

He could face competition, with South African Rugby president Mark Alexander and former Argentina international Agustin Pichot also said to be interested in the vice-chairman job.


Meanwhile, Beaumont led the tributes for Jeffrey: “I speak on behalf of my colleagues on the World Rugby Council in extending congratulations to John on his election.

“John takes his position at an exciting time for the sport as we seek to innovate on and off the field and grow beyond our traditional heartlands.

“As a past chairman of the Rugby and Match Official Selection Committees, John has already played a leading role in the work of World Rugby to date, championing the evolution of the game and bringing players, coaches and match officials closer to the decision-making processes.

“As we look ahead to an exciting second half of the year with a men’s Rugby World Cup, the launch of WXV and the reimagined Sevens Series to look forward to, I am looking forward to working with John to progress an even better, more accessible and more attractive game for all.”


Jeffrey, who has served on World Rugby’s Council and governance structures since 2010, is passionate about advancing rugby’s on-field spectacle as well as enhancing the well-being and welfare of players at all levels of the game.

“I am honoured and excited to be elected World Rugby Vice-Chairman and would like to thank my Council colleagues for placing their faith in me,” Jeffrey said.

“It is faith that I fully intend in repaying in getting to work in supporting Bill and the World Rugby team in continuing to deliver a bold and ambitious mandate to grow the sport, widen representation and make rugby all it can be.

“I am passionate about the game, its players, coaches and match officials and the sport’s ability to bring people and communities together. It is with that spirit that I hope to contribute to the big challenges and opportunities that face the game as we strive to make the sport even more relevant and exciting for young people to play and watch, while strengthening a sustainable business model.”

Jeffrey’s election as Vice-Chairman in addition to the recent stepping down of Khaled Babbou following his retirement as Rugby Africa President creates two vacancies on World Rugby’s Executive Board.

Nominations will be received by 19 May with the positions determined by a remote voting process in accordance with World Rugby’s Bye-Laws in the coming weeks.

Additional source: AFP

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