World Rugby chairman Beaumont knighted

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont has been given a knighthood in the latest round of Queen's honours.

Beaumont has been chairman since 2016, having previously served as vice-chairman from 2007 and as RFU chairman as well.

HIs involvement in rugby goes back well before his administrative work, though, having won 34 Test caps for England and leading the English to their first Grand Slam in 33 years in 1975.

Beaumont also played for the British and Irish Lions and managed the representative team in their 2005 tour to New Zealand.

Serving as RFU chairman during 2015, Beaumont was part of the team that delivered the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England, one of the feathers in his cap.

"I am honoured and humbled to receive this accolade from Her Majesty the Queen for services to rugby," Beaumont said in a statement.

"I have always viewed my work in the sport as an administrator as that of a guardian, driven by a passion to do the very best I can for rugby and the people who give up their time every week on the touchlines at rugby clubs around the world to inspire new generations of players, supporters and volunteers. It is as much recognition for them and all who work in the sport as it is me.

“Rugby has been my life for more than half a century and has given me so much joy as a player, a father of rugby-playing sons and an administrator.

"I am fortunate to be in a position to give back to the sport I love, and I am as passionate now about rugby as I was when pulling on that Fylde, Lancashire, England or British and Irish Lions jersey."

Beaumont said he was proud of the developments in rugby in recent times.

"Rugby has made great progress on and off the field in recent years, and I believe that we are on an incredible journey with significant participation and fan growth, while 2019 is set to be a game-changer as we look ahead to the first Rugby World Cup in Asia," he said.

“In my opinion, rugby is the ultimate team sport – a sport with strong values and where the team is always greater than the individual – and I have been blessed to have played and worked with some superb people along the way who share the same passion for the betterment of the sport.

"There is, however, one person who has supported me above all else, through thick and thin, from my playing days to now – my wife Hilary – she is my rock and inspiration.”