Bernard Lapasset re-elected as IRB chairman

by staff

International Rugby Board Chairman Bernard Lapasset has been re-elected for a second consecutive term in office until 2016 by members of the IRB Council at its reconvened Interim Meeting in Los Angeles, USA, on Monday.

Frenchman Lapasset, who faced opposition from current Vice Chairman Bill Beaumont, secured a clear majority of 14-12 from the 26 members of the Council in the first round of voting.

South African Rugby Union President Oregan Hoskins was elected Vice Chairman after securing the IRB Chairman's casting vote following two rounds of voting which were tied 13-13. Beaumont also stood for re-election.

Lapasset and Hoskins will begin their term in office on January 1, 2012.

Lapasset has presided over Rugby’s return to the Olympic Games, Argentina’s inclusion in The Rugby Championship, a 10-year tours and Test schedule, the awarding of Rugby World Cup to an Asian country for the first time and an exceptional Rugby World Cup 2011 during his recent term.

Lapasset thanked Council for its continued support, paid tribute to outgoing Vice Chairman Beaumont and outlined his vision for Rugby’s world governing body.

“I am honoured to accept the mandate of the Council to serve as Chairman of the International Rugby Board for another term. Together we must work to ensure that our sport remains strong for all our Unions and is able to continue its phenomenal growth around the world.”

“As Vice Chairman, Bill has been at the forefront of driving forward the policies that have successfully delivered the foundations for our sport to flourish over the next decade."

"I am committed to building on the good progress to date. We have fantastic opportunities to grow the Game, to reach new markets and welcome new members to the Rugby family. Together we also have to address the issues that face our sport and many other sports, including the delivery of a robust financial model for sustainable growth for our Unions, upholding our values, promoting the best possible welfare for our athletes and maintaining integrity.”

Hoskins said: “It is an honour to accept this mandate. I am looking forward to working in partnership with Bernard and my colleagues on Council to ensure that Rugby is best placed to thrive as a sport at both the elite and community levels as we continue to build a platform for sustainable growth in the decade ahead that will include two Rugby World Cups and Rugby Sevens’ Olympic Games debut.”

The original meeting in Auckland, New Zealand, on October 19 was adjourned in order to defer the vote of the Chairman and Vice Chairman positions until after Rugby World Cup 2011.

As per the original meeting agenda, Council also elected the seven representatives to serve on the IRB Executive Committee (alongside Chairman Lapasset, Vice Chairman Hoskins and Chief Executive Mike Miller) for four years from January 1, 2012.

They are: Bill Beaumont (England), Tatsuzo Yabe (Japan), Giancarlo Dondi (Italy), Peter McGrath (Australia), Peter Boyle (Ireland), Graham Mourie (New Zealand) and Bob Latham (NACRA).

It is the first time that Japan and a Regional Association have been represented on the IRB Executive Committee, ensuring Tier 2 representation.

The current mandates of Bernard Lapasset as Chairman and Bill Beaumont as Vice Chairman and the Executive Committee expire on January 1, 2012.