Fiji and Samoa join World Rugby Council, Global Rapid Rugby rubber stamped in Dublin

by staff

The big news out of World Rugby meetings on Thursday morning was the result of the Women's Rugby World Cup vote but it was far from the only item ticked off.

Pacific Islands Fiji and Samoa were officially accepted into the World Rugby Council after making improvements in their governance.

They follow Georgia, USA and Romania as new additions to the council in recent times as rugby expands its decision makers.

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont praised the two unions for meeting the international mark.

“This is an historic day for World Rugby and the Pacific Islands, and a reflection of the importance and success of the transformational governance reforms made by this organisation and the unions," he said.

“We are delighted to be welcoming Fiji and Samoa to council, two unions who have contributed so much to the game. The Pacific Islands are unique, immersed in rugby heritage, and I know that the unions will bring excellent insights and make strong contributions on council.

“This shows that the model is in place, the pathway is in place and the door is open to other unions who aspire to have a seat on Council. We encourage all unions to take inspiration from Fiji and Samoa, review their governance and strive to achieve the required criteria.

“World Rugby is committed to the sustainable growth of the sport set against a backdrop of strong governance, and we will continue to work with our unions to ensure that they have all the support to achieve and maintain the necessary criteria.”

Andrew Forrest's re-named Global Rapid Rugby was also given conditional support for 2019, subject to the approval of participating countries.

An announcement is expected later on Thursday from the tournament organisers unveiling the details for the competition, an expanded version of this year's World Series Rugby.