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Beaumont pips Pichot to World Rugby chairman post

Beaumont, 68, who campaigned on the promise of opening up the sport, claimed 28 of the 51 votes to overcome the 45-year-old Pichot who planned to modernise the body and used the hashtag #GlobalGame on social media.

Bill Beaumont. Picture: AFP.

PARIS - Former England captain Bill Beaumont has been re-elected as World Rugby chairman beating ex-Argentina skipper Agustin Pichot, the governing body announced on Saturday.

Beaumont, 68, who campaigned on the promise of opening up the sport, claimed 28 of the 51 votes to overcome the 45-year-old Pichot who planned to modernise the body and used the hashtag #GlobalGame on social media.

"I am honoured to accept the mandate of the World Rugby Council to serve as the international federation's Chairman once again and would like to thank my union and region colleagues, members of the global rugby family and, of course, my family for their full support," said Beaumont in a statement released by World Rugby.

The announcement of the results was brought forward from the original date of May 12 due to the smoothness of the voting process.

"Not this time, thanks to all for the support, from the bottom of my heart. #globalgame," Pichot posted on Twitter on Saturday.

Beaumont, who will have another four-year tenure, will be joined by the French Rugby Federation's chief Bernard Laporte as his vice-chairman.

The election process had been overshadowed by the resignation of Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) chairman Francis Kean from the world body's council after accusations of "rampant homophobia".

Beaumont's bid was seconded by the Pacific Island union but World Rugby stressed the former lock's nomination came from the FRU, rather than from Kean.