Battle for World Rugby's top job: How the voting works

Agustín Pichot (File)
Agustín Pichot (File)

Voting for the most powerful position in rugby has begun.

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World Rugby, the sport's global governing body, has a battle on its hands as Sir Bill Beaumont and Agustin Pichot go head-to-head for the right to become its most powerful administrator for the next four years.

Voting opened on Monday and will close on Thursday. Then it's a wait until 12 May before we discover who will be World Rugby chairperson.

Beaumont, a 68-year-old former England captain seeking a second term in charge, is regarded as the favourite and is helped by the slanted voting system as much as anything else.

Pichot, 45, a former Argentina skipper who is currently Beaumont's deputy, is pushing for more radical measures to shake up the sport.


Eighteen countries plus six regions will take part in voting, leading to a total of 51 votes which will be "in secure electronic form" and both managed and audited in Switzerland, according to World Rugby.

Thus, 26 votes and you're the winner!

The six Six Nations countries - England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France and Italy - all have three votes, while the four Saanzar countries - New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina - also have three votes.

This alone would appear to make Beaumont the bookies' favourite as the Six Nations countries are likely to vote for England's Beaumont, while the Saanzar votes will go to Argentina's Pichot.

Those votes alone should leave it 18-12 in favour of Beaumont.

Japan have two votes while the other seven countries - Romania, Georgia, Uruguay, USA, Canada, Samoa and Fiji - have one apiece.

That's a total of 39 'country' votes.

In addition, the six regions of Africa, Asia, Europe, North/Central America, South America and Oceania each have two votes, giving a total of 12 'region' votes - and an overall total of 51.

Should the Six Nations votes go as expected, Beaumont would only need a further eight votes to retain his seat ... and it's difficult to see him not doing just that when one considers Romania (1), Georgia (1), USA (1), Canada (1) and the regions of Europe (2), North/Central America (2) are all expected to put a 'X' next to his name.

At this stage it isn't clear what the thinking of Japan (2) and Asia (2) in particular is. It must be remembered that in the voting for the 2023 Rugby World Cup, Japan voted for France ahead of South Africa - despite having a team (Sunwolves) in Super Rugby.

Even more hurtful, Africa's vote went against South Africa too!

- Compiled by Garrin Lambley

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