Date set for IRB election
November 10, 2011
Current chairman Bernard Lapasset is hoping to secure a second term in office © Getty Images
The International Rugby Board (IRB) has announced that recently postponed vote to decide the positions of chairman and vice chairman will take place in Los Angeles on December 12.
The original Interim Meeting of the IRB Council meeting in Auckland on October 19 was adjourned in order to defer the vote with officials reportedly concerned that the political tussle between current chairman Bernard Lapasset and vice chairman Bill Beaumont was overshadowing the climax of the Rugby World Cup.
Lapasset is hoping to secure a second term in office but is being challenged by former England international Beaumont with support understood to be evenly split between the two candidates.
The eight founder member unions - Australia, England, France, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa and Wales - wield 16 of the 26 votes that will have a strong bearing on the race with the single votes of the likes of Argentina, Canada and Japan along with those cast by the six regional associations, including Asia (ARFU) and Africa (CAR) set to be the deciding factor.
Beaumont has reportedly attracted the support of both Australia and New Zealand with a promise to reform the IRB's commercial model while South Africa appear to favour Lapasset with president Oregan Hoskins set to stand as the Frenchman's vice chairman.
The IRB Council selected Los Angeles as the venue for the reconvened meeting on the recommendation of the Lapasset, Beaumont and chief executive Mike Miller following "a comprehensive assessment of suitable venues". A major air travel hub, Los Angeles is also a half way point for representatives from the northern and southern hemispheres and meets the key criteria of minimalising travel and time for attendees.
As per the original agenda, the Council will also elect the seven representatives to serve on the IRB Executive Committee (alongside the chairman, vice chairman and chief executive) for four years from January 1, 2012.
On December 11, the IRB Regulations Committee will also meet in Los Angeles to discuss future disciplinary rules and processes during 2012 with any recommendations put forward to Council for consideration at their meeting the following day.
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