Sir Bill Beaumont is the World Rugby Chairman. The 68-year-old beat out his challenger, Agustin Pichot, his former deputy, by five votes.
The final vote count was 28 for Beaumont against 23 for Pichot. Bernard Laporte, the French Rugby president is the vice-chairman to Beaumont. The Argentine was gracious in his defeat and took to social media to congratulate Beaumont.
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
Beaumont has held the position since 2016. Therefore the former England captain will be a steadying face for the rugby fraternity during this turbulent time. Beaumont’s first task with Laporte will be to steer World Rugby through the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a press conference held after the re-election, Beaumont told the BBC; “What this pandemic has shown, is that we all rely on each other. We are at a crossroads, and there is a real desire from both the north and south to reunite our game.”
Beaumont’s manifesto titled, “A Game For All” outlines his plans for his four-year tenure at the helm of World Rugby.
Beaumont essentially highlighted the need for inclusivity within the union. “Our aim is to have a more representative and diverse international federation that better serves the game, not one that is seen to only support the ‘old guard’.”
The manifesto also discussed the need for reform in rugby’s governance. “To achieve our aim of a strong international federation with a clear vision, we are proposing a wide-ranging governance review led by two independently appointed people.”
All major rugby stakeholders will be consulted, as will experts from outside the game, to help bring in fresh ideas and perspective.”
Player welfare is a prime concern for Beaumont. The first factor will be to consider the possibility of creating a global season. Therefore this will reduce the overlay of club and season rugby on the players. Beaumont also discussed the importance of Women’s Rugby and the need to assist in the growth of the women’s game. Moreover in generating exposure and securing financial backing.
Beaumont was slow in enacting change throughout the union in his previous tenure. Consequently, critics have stated that he is fortunate to secure another four years in this position.