English Rugby
Beaumont named new RFU chairman
ESPN Staff
July 8, 2012
IRB vice chairman Bill Beaumont looks on, IRB General Assembly, Grand Hotel Convention Centre, Auckland, New Zealand, October 17, 2011
Bill Beaumont recently lost an election to become chairman of the International Rugby Board © Getty Images

Former England captain Bill Beaumont has been appointed as the new RFU chairman following the union's annual general meeting.

Beaumont, who unsuccessfully challenged Bernard Lapasset for the chairmanship of the International Rugby Board last year, takes over from Paul Murphy, who becomes the new RFU President in succession to Willie Wildash.

"I'm very honoured to be appointed chairman of the RFU," said the 60-year-old. "I was fortunate enough to captain my country and everything since then has been about putting something back into a game that is important to so many people. We all want to make the game as attractive as possible for all the men, women, boys and girls, who want to play and watch at every level."

Beaumont, played for Fylde and Lancashire and won 34 caps between 1975 and 1982, captaining England to a first Grand Slam in 33 years in 1980, when he also led the British & Lions in South Africa.

He has since played a major role in the leadership of the domestic and global game. He has represented his county on the RFU Council and the RFU on the IRB Council, including a four-year term as vice chairman, and has been a director of the Six Nations and the Rugby World Cup. He is Honorary President of the Wooden Spoon charity and was awarded a CBE for services to rugby union in 2008.

Well known outside the game as BBC Question of Sport team captain for 14 years to 1996, he is looking forward to being at the heart of English rugby as the country build towards hosting the Rugby World Cup in 2015. "The RFU staff and thousands of volunteers face three years of hard work ahead but the legacy of the England hosting Rugby World Cup in 2015 will be enormous and it is our chance to showcase our game throughout the whole country," he said.

Murphy, 61, takes office having served for six years on the Board of Directors where he chaired both the Governance and the Finance Committees. He represented Oxfordshire on the RFU Council for 16 years.

Murphy said: "I wish Bill Beaumont all the best as my successor as chairman. He has my total support and I am sure he will bring his great experience to bear and lead the Board as effectively as he did the England team in days gone by.

"We've made enormous strides on and off the pitch in the last six months and I'm sure Bill will lead us forward to realise our full potential over the next few years."

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