Bill Beaumont wants to deliver a “stronger, more sustainable game” after he was re-elected for a second term as World Rugby chairman.
The former England captain, 68, achieved a 28-23 majority over fellow candidate Agustin Pichot following the first round of voting in the independent election, meaning he will carry on in the post for a further four years.
France’s Bernard Laporte is the new vice-chairman after standing unopposed for the position, while seven new members have been confirmed to the organisation’s executive committee.
World Rugby will officially confirm Beaumont’s continuation in the role at its annual meeting on May 12, though he is already thinking about the future as rugby union looks to recover from problems caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
A complete shutdown of the sport at club and international level has had financial ramifications for many, with the focus now on a plan for a return to action that still “prioritises player welfare”.
“Now is not the time for celebration. We have work to do,” Beaumont said in a statement.
“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.”
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. Bernard and I will be working for everyone in this great game.@WorldRugby
— Sir Bill Beaumont (@BillBeaumont) May 2, 2020
Beaumont thanked outgoing vice-chairman Pichot for the Argentinian’s contribution to World Rugby over their previous four years of working together.
“While we stood against each other in this campaign, we aligned in many ways, and I have the utmost respect for him,” Beaumont said. “Gus is passionate about the sport and his contribution has been significant.”
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