Beaumont puts hand up for World Rugby chairman role

Bill Beaumont has been appointed as the World Rugby Chairman

Rugby Football Union chairman Bill Beaumont has announced that he will run for the role of World Rugby Chairman after Bernard Lapasset announced that he will not seek re-election.

The sport’s governing body will elect a new boss in May following news of Bernard Lapasset’s imminent departure after more than 20 years. And Beaumont, a former England captain who has been in his Twickenham post since 2012, wants the job.

Beaumont says that he has the knowledge and experience to succeed in this role of World Rugby chairman.

He said: “Rugby has been fundamental in my life, bringing me immense enjoyment and fulfilment over many years, both as a player and administrator. “Now it is time to attempt to repay some of what rugby has given me by standing for the role of chairman of World Rugby.

“Rugby must have strong roots to ensure healthy and sustainable growth globally. After the largest and most successful Rugby World Cup ever, and with sevens now on the Olympic programme, we are entering a pivotal period.

“Rapid recent expansion has brought tremendous excitement and expectation, which is a credit to our current Chairman Bernard Lapasset.

“Rugby now needs a modern, forward-thinking, world-leading International Federation that strengthens the roots of the game’s success – our financial security and fundamental rugby values – to guarantee that growth well into the future. I believe that with my knowledge and experience I can work with World Rugby to achieve this.”

The 63-year-old is the early favourite following the decision on Thursday by the Frenchman to step down.

Lapasset confirmed he would not seek re-election in order to focus on Paris’ bid for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Beaumont, capped 34 times by England during his international career, was defeated by Lapasset 14-12 in the last election, held in Los Angeles in December 2011.

He then lost his position as vice-chairman to Oregan Hoskins when, following two ballots which ended 13-13, the Frenchman cast his deciding vote for the South African.

Beaumont has released a 20-page manifesto and has employed British communications firm Jon Tibbs Associates (JTA) to advise him on his campaign. A deadline of March 12 has been set for candidates to register their interest in standing.

The only people eligible to enter the race to succeed Lapasset, who was elected to succeed Ireland’s Syd Millar as head of the International Rugby Board in October 2007 and assumed the President’s role in January 2008, are members of the World Rugby Council, a body made up of 27 men.

Each member of the Council has one vote in the election, with a simple majority required to secure the top job at the organisation.

Another potential candidate could be International Olympic Committee member and Rugby Europe chairman Octavian Morariu of Romania.

Lapasset had previously led rugby’s world governing body in 1995 and 1996. During this period, he had presented the Rugby World Cup to Nelson Mandela after South Africa’s victory in Johannesburg in 1995.

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