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Beaumont appointed World Rugby chairman

Former England captain Bill Beaumont has vowed to nuture the future of rugby after being unanimously elected as the next World Rugby chairman, with Agustin Pichot named vice-chairman.

Beaumont ran unopposed to replace Bernard Lapasset at the top of rugby's governing body, the latter choosing to step down to lead Paris' bid for the 2024 Olympic Games.

A vote at World Rugby's annual council in Dublin on Wednesday confirmed Beaumont's ascension to the top job – the 64-year-old having previously been part of the executive committee.

Beaumont also held the role of Rugby Football Union chairman and a similar role with the Six Nations, but he will relinquish them to take up his new post, which begins on July 1.

"Rugby has experienced significant and rapid growth, which is a credit to Bernard Lapasset and his leadership over the past eight years," said Beaumont.

"The sport is in excellent health and over the next four years there will be many great opportunities to further develop and grow the game. However, we cannot be complacent.

"The game still faces challenges and my manifesto outlines the five priorities focused on addressing these. These priorities are continuing to protect players, preserving integrity, enhancing global competition, optimising partnerships and empowering and strengthening unions.

"I will nurture the roots of rugby, our fundamental values and financial security and will make rugby decisions for rugby reasons. As World Rugby Chairman, I will work with unions over the next four years to deliver healthy, sustainable growth for the game we all love."

Pichot replaces South Africa Rugby Union president Oregan Hoskins – who opted against seeking re-election.

The former Argentina international retired in 2008 and was integral in seeing the Pumas admitted into the Rugby Championship.