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Bill Beaumont turns to ex-Lions friends to secure the votes of Wales and Ireland in the Rugby World Cup elections

Bill Beaumont turns to ex-Lions friends to secure the votes of Wales and Ireland in the race to maintain the chairman role in the hard-fought World Rugby election

  • Bill Beaumont, president of the Rugby World Cup, is campaigning for reelection of the role
  • Beaumont hopes ex-Lions teammates will be able to get votes from Wales and Ireland
  • Ireland said it was angry with running mate Bernard Laporte over the World Cup vote
  • Beaumont’s campaign rival Agustin Pichot can secure one Home Nations vote

Bill Beaumont has turned to ex-Lions teammates to ‘keep Wales and Ireland on track’ and prevent one or both home countries from voting against him in the election of the World Rugby Chairman.

The former England and Lions captain seems increasingly at risk of losing his memorable polling station with Agustin Pichot, due to the sudden threat of a splinter in the Six Nations ballot.

It has always been assumed that the elite European countries – each with three votes and wielding enormous collective power – would support the re-election of Beaumont en masse, but that is no longer certain.

Bill Beaumont (M) calls on former Lions teammates in his World Rugby chairmanship

Bill Beaumont (M) calls on former Lions teammates in his World Rugby chairmanship

The re-election of Beaumont is no longer a security with growing support for Agustin Pichot

The re-election of Beaumont is no longer a security with growing support for Agustin Pichot

The re-election of Beaumont is no longer a security with growing support for Agustin Pichot

Sports email reported earlier this week that there was a chance that one of the Six Nations unions would vote for Pichot and it is now understood that both the Irish and Welsh are considering the possibility of joining Southern Hemisphere counterparts by the Argentine support.

Such a scenario can be a devastating blow to Beaumont’s troubled campaign, so he has used his personal connections in an effort to allay any doubts that he would be reelected.

Multiple sources have indicated that officials in Ireland are saddened by the demise of their bid to host the 2023 World Cup, when French Federation President Bernard Laporte secured the vote for his country with an 11-hour wheeler deal.

Laporte is running in partnership with Beaumont for the role of vice president of World Rugby, so Irish hostility towards the former French coach could quell his English ally.

Beaumont's running mate Bernard Laporte is said to have upset Ireland over the World Cup bid

Beaumont's running mate Bernard Laporte is said to have upset Ireland over the World Cup bid

Beaumont’s running mate Bernard Laporte is said to have upset Ireland over the World Cup bid

Senior officials of the Welsh Rugby Union, on the other hand, are ‘very principled’ and may cast their three votes for Pichot, believing that he simply has the best vision for the future of rugby.

Sports email has learned that the controversy over the president of the Fiji Rugby Union and convicted murderer Francis Kean may have “started to harm” Beaumont’s campaign.

Kean was removed from the World Rugby Council after allegations of homophobia and discrimination came to light. FRU supported Beaumont’s nomination.

All 51 votes must be cast on Thursday and the results will be officially announced on May 12.

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