Bill Beaumont has announced today (Friday) that he will be seeking re-election as chairman of World Rugby at the body’s council meeting in May.
French Rugby Federation (FFR) president Bernard Laporte will stand as Beaumont’s candidate for vice-chairman, and not Agustín Pichot.
Argentina’s Pichot is the current vice-chairman of World Rugby, having been re-elected to the role in May 2016, when Beaumont (pictured) assumed his chairmanship.
Pichot was behind plans for a new Nations Championship, which would have combined 12 international sides from both hemispheres in a competition through summer and autumn. The plans were dropped last June after failing to gain unanimous support from the sport’s key stakeholders.
Beaumont succeeded Bernard Lapasset as World Rugby chairman in 2016 after previously serving as chairman of England’s Rugby Football Union (RFU). He also served as World Rugby vice-chairman from 2007 to 2012 and was a key figure on the World Rugby Council, Executive Committee, Rugby World Cup Board and Rugby Committee bodies.
Beaumont said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed this four-year term and have always sought to lead for the global game, not the few, by engaging with all levels of our sport to understand what really matters to our unions, players, fans, broadcasters and commercial partners.”
Beaumont has pledged to undertake further governance reform of World Rugby structures if he is re-elected as chairman. He also promised to reinforce the international competition structure with a focus on unions outside of the Six Nations and The Rugby Championship, strengthen the financial sustainability of the game, strengthen and accelerate women’s rugby development, and promote greater player dialogue with a particular focus on player welfare.
Beaumont said he would unveil further details of his and Laporte’s five-point manifesto in due course.