Former England captain Bill Beaumont has been elected as the new chairman of Rugby Union's international governing body World Rugby. The 64-year-old ex-lock, who led England to its first Five Nations Grand Slam in 23 years back in 1980 before skippering the British and Irish Lions for the tour to South Africa during the same year, ran unopposed in Dublin and was unanimously chosen to replace Bernard Lapasset.
The Frenchman has been in the job since 1995 but did not seek re-election as he instead focuses upon his other role as co-chairman of the Paris 2024 Olympic bid committee. Beaumont will be assisted by Agustin Pichot, the former Argentina captain who won 71 Test caps for the Pumas between 1995-2007 and played in English rugby for both Richmond and Bristol.
Responding to his election, Beaumont, who will assume office from 1 July, said: "I am honoured to accept the mandate of council to serve as World Rugby chairman at what is an exciting and pivotal time for the sport. Rugby has experienced significant and rapid growth, which is a credit to Bernard Lapasset and his leadership over the past eight years.
"The sport is in excellent health and over the next four years there will be many great opportunities to further develop and grow the game. However, we cannot be complacent. The game still faces challenges and my manifesto outlines the five priorities focused on addressing these. These priorities are continuing to protect players, preserving integrity, enhancing global competition, optimising partnerships and empowering and strengthening unions.
"I will nurture the roots of rugby, our fundamental values and financial security and will make rugby decisions for rugby reasons. As World Rugby chairman, I will work with unions over the next four years to deliver healthy, sustainable growth for the game we all love."