Beaumont clear on plan for ‘second half’

Re-elected chairman of World Rugby, Bill Beaumont, has set out his intentions for what he has called the ‘second half’ of his tenure as the head of the game.

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Beaumont fended off his vice-chairman Agustin Pichot 28-23 in a hotly-contested election battle and will now move forward with his plans to unify the game with France’s Bernard Laporte as his vice-chairman.

The former England captain has called for rugby to unite under one goal with a renewed focus on player management, transparency and accountability.

‘Over the last four years we have achieved a lot, but we are at half-time and need to press on in the second half. I now have a clear mandate to work with Bernard to implement progressive, sustainable change,’ he said.

‘As an organisation, we must lead, be transparent, accountable and continue to serve for all. We must be united in our drive to make this great sport even better, simpler, safer and more accessible. We must listen to players, fans, competitions, our unions and regions, and take decisions that are in the best interests of all with our strong values to the fore.

‘Now is not the time for celebration. We have work to do. We are tackling COVID-19 and must implement an appropriate return-to-rugby strategy that prioritises player welfare, while optimising any opportunity to return to international rugby this year in full collaboration with club competitions for the good of players, fans and the overall financial health of the sport.

‘I am determined to ensure that the spirit of unity and solidarity that has characterised our work in response to an unprecedented global COVID-19 pandemic, is the cornerstone of a new approach that will deliver a stronger, more sustainable game when we emerge with new enthusiasm, a renewed purpose and an exciting future.’

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Wade Pretorius