New Zealand Rugby calls for 'courage' from reelected Bill Beaumont

SYDNEY New Zealand Rugby has recently reelected World rugby President Bill Beaumont make the courageous decisions necessary to ensure that elite rugby is sustainable for more than just a few nations.

Former England captain Beaumont won a second four-year term as head of the sport's world governing body by defeating Argentina's Augustin Pichot 28-23 in a vote of the World rugby Council with the result announced on Saturday.

Pichot, who called for a radical change in the game with an emphasis on helping developing nations, had attracted support from powers in the southern hemisphere, but failed to advance in Europe.

NZR President Brent Impey congratulated Beaumont on his success, but said the 68-year-old must admit that the brief election campaign had revealed a great appetite for change.

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Of course, we are disappointed in Agustin Pichot as he had our vote, and it is important to us that whoever wins the election heeds the calls to change the game, he said in a statement.

There is still a level of governance reform that is lagging, and it would be nice to see the courage taken to make the decisions necessary to ensure the continued sustainability and success of rugby globally, not just for a limited number of unions and regions.

Former Argentine middle scrum Pichot, who served as Beaumont vice president for the past four years, posted a brief statement on Twitter.

Congratulations Bill! he wrote. Not this time, thank you all for the support from the bottom of my heart.

In his campaign manifesto, Beaumont had promised an independent review of World rugby 's governance and to spearhead the drive for a global calendar.

Critics will point to the composition of the new Executive Committee, which was also elected at the vote, as evidence of the need for change.

The 12-person corps included only three representatives from outside the traditional heart of the game, one Tunisian and two Americans, and one of them was the only woman.

Beaumont's first call after his re-election was for continued unity, as the sport addresses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has slowed rugby around the world and caused major financial problems for unions large and small. .