It was confirmed on Saturday that Bill Beaumont had held off the challenge of Agustin Pichot to be re-elected World Rugby chairman.
Pichot had put forward a fierce challenge for the post, with promises of radical changes to the game and plans of a global season.
Yet, Beaumont ultimately won a 28-23 majority among the 51 votes of the World Rugby council and will serve another four years with France’s Bernard Laporte as his vice-chairman.
‘I am honoured to have been re-elected as chairman of World Rugby. I would like to thank my union and region colleagues, members of the global rugby family and, of course my family, for all their support,’ he said.
‘While we stood against each other in this campaign, we are aligned in many ways and I have the utmost respect for Gus and would like to thank him for his friendship and support over the last four years.
‘Now is not the time for celebration. We have further work to do in our response to Covid-19. We must be united and drive to make this great sport even better, simpler, safer and more accessible.’
It was reported that both Rugby Africa and Japan opted to back Beaumont for four more years, while the votes of Fiji and Samoa also proved decisive.
The announcement of the election outcome was ultimately moved forward from the originally scheduled date of 12 May after both Beaumont and Pichot came to an agreement.
The new Executive Committee will comprise: Sir Bill Beaumont (Chairman), Bernard Laporte (Vice-Chairman), Brett Gosper (Chief Executive), Angela Ruggiero (Independent), Lord Mervyn Davies (Independent); Mark Alexander (South African Rugby Union), Khaled Babbou (Rugby Africa), Bart Campbell (New Zealand Rugby), Gareth Davies (Welsh Rugby Union), John Jeffrey (Scottish Rugby), Bob Latham (USA Rugby) and Brett Robinson (Rugby Australia).