Pichot Resigns From World Rugby Council

© REUTERS / Marcos BrindicciAgustin Pichot, IRB World Rugby vice-president and former Argentina captain
Agustin Pichot, IRB World Rugby vice-president and former Argentina captain - Sputnik International
Sport is going through some tough times amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with numerous professional competitions having been suspended or called off entirely, but the lack of on-pitch action hasn’t stopped drama from unfolded behind the scenes, particularly in Rugby.

Former Argentina international Agustin Pichtot has announced that he will be resigning from the World Rugby Council.

The move comes after he was defeated by Englishman Sir Bill Beaumont in the World Rugby Federation’s leadership election, which took place on the second of May.

In a statement on the Argentine Rugby Union’s website, Pichot outlined his reasons for doing do.

"The only reason I have been a part of World Rugby to this day, and which in turn is the same one that has moved me to run for president, is the conviction that World Rugby needs change, but my proposal, which I fervently believe in, has not been chosen, and that is why I choose to step aside, I cannot conceive of occupying a place just for the sake of occupying it," Pichot stated.

The Argentine’s World Rugby Federation leadership bid was based on reforming the game’s governance, which he felt overly favoured traditionally strong teams such as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, France and England, and hence stymied the development of the sport in other countries.

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Among Pichot’s proposals was the idea to introduce a promotion and relegations system for the Six Nations; Europe’s flagship international Rugby tournament, in order to potentially grant smaller teams in the continent the chance to take on the established titans of the sport.

The manifesto of Sir Bill Beaumont however, proved to be more popular, as he was largely in favour of maintaining the status quo within Rugby, with his most radical proposal being to allow players from countries such as Fiji, Samoa and Tonga to represent their home nations after turning out for bigger sides, in pursuit of international trophies.

It remains to be seen if Pichot will return to Rugby in another capacity, or if much reform to the sport’s governing bodies will take place, but for now, at least it seems that the World Rugby Federation will plough ahead, and implement the sensible if less radical manifesto of Sir Bill Beaumont.

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