BILL Beaumont narrowly lost out on the chairmanship of the International Rugby Board – and was then turfed out of the vice-chairman position too.
Incumbent chairman Frenchman Bernard Lapasset was re-elected for another term, defeating former England captain and Fylde second row Beaumont, 59, by 14 votes to 12 at an IRB meeting in Los Angeles.
Beaumont’s tenure as vice-chairman was ended by South African candidate Oregan Hoskins.
After two rounds of voting had finished 13-13, the chairman’s casting vote went to Hoskins, signalling a double defeat for Beaumont.
Lapasset, who will serve a second term, said: “As vice-chairman, Bill has been at the forefront of driving forward the policies that have successfully delivered the foundations for our sport to flourish over the next decade.”
He added: “I am honoured to accept the mandate of the council to serve as chairman of the International Rugby Board for another term.
“Together we must work to ensure that our sport remains strong for all our unions and is able to continue its phenomenal growth around the world.
“I am committed to building on the good progress to date.”
Hoskins said: “It is an honour to accept this mandate. I am looking forward to working in partnership with Bernard and my colleagues on council to ensure that rugby is best placed to thrive as a sport at both the elite and community levels.”
Beaumont was was elected to the executive committee, along with Lapasset, Hoskins, Peter Boyle of Ireland and five other members.
n ENGLAND head coach Stuart Lancaster hopes he can tap into Jonny Wilkinson’s “vast knowledge” of international rugby after the celebrated fly-half announced his Test match retirement.
Wilkinson has called time on an international career that harvested 91 England caps, six British and Irish Lions Test appearances and a total of 1,246 points.
The 32-year-old also played in four World Cups, including the 2003 campaign Down Under when his drop-goal 17 seconds from the end of extra time broke Australian hearts in Sydney and meant England had conquered planet rugby. And Lancaster, who was appointed last week as England’s interim boss for the RBS 6 Nations Championship that starts in February, led the tributes to Wilkinson.
“He will continue to do great things with Toulon, and I would like to go and see him in France to learn from his vast knowledge and experience of 13 years at the very top of the international game,” Lancaster said.
“Jonny has had a fantastic international career which has spanned four World Cups and 91 caps, and he ranks as one of England’s greatest ever players.
“He will, of course, be remembered for that drop-goal. But he is more than that, a model sportsman - down to earth and hard-working - who has never stopped trying to be the best that he can.”