Robert Rees brings you the latest from the Welsh camp.
WRU backs Beaumont
The official votes will be announced on May 12, but the WRU have announced their backing 14 days prior, with a message saying both candidates were scrutinised and the WRU board’s decision far from a unanimous one.
In a status update a message from Gareth Davies read;
“At a meeting of the Welsh Rugby Union Board last week we discussed the upcoming elections for the next World Rugby chair, to be contested by Bill Beaumont and Agustin Pichot.
“We have also consulted both the Professional Rugby Board (PRB) and our own executive board for their views.
“As always, it is vitally important to us that due and proper process is followed in the governance of our game in Wales and I would like to formally confirm to our members clubs the Board’s conclusion to support Bill Beaumont in his bid to be re-elected for a further term.
“We have spoken to both candidates and assessed their manifesto commitments in turn. We have digested the dynamic drive for change presented by Agustin and understood the commitment to progress but also stability and the steady hand provided by Bill.”
It’s believed that Wales are the only entity from with the Six Nations to formally chat with Pichot.
“Some members of our Board expressed direct support for Bill and others acceded to take their steer from those of us who are closest to the issues at play. There were members of both our exec board and the PRB who expressed a preference for Agustin, and this was by no means a ‘one horse race’ in the Board’s eyes, but our final collective decision was reached based on evidence provided, due diligence and research of each candidate.
“We are strongly of the belief that this was the proper way to conduct ourselves, just as when we were deciding on how to vote for the 2023 Rugby World Cup host candidates – where we followed the recommendations of the technical evaluation conducted by World Rugby – we have followed the evidence before us and, we are sure, backed the best candidate for the job.“
The vote is expected to be a close one, with our projections currently sitting at just a two-seat swing, possibly in favour of Pichot, who has reportedly garnered support from the IRFU, as well as forcing the Japanese vote to be split between the two candidates.
“Main photo credit”