A favourite to replace current World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper has emerged according to reports coming out of South Africa.
South African Rugby Union Chief Executive Officer Jurie Roux is a ‘hot commodity’ in World Rugby and according to a report in the Afrikaans weekly newspaper Rapport, Roux is set to take up the influential position of CEO at World Rugby later this year.
He is set to replace Australian Gosper, who has held the World Rugby position of CEO since 2012.
According to the newspaper report, Roux is a close ally of both Bill Beaumont and Agustín Pichot – who will go head-to-head for the position of Chairman at the body’s elections early next month.
The winner will be revealed at the World Rugby annual meeting on May 12. It is believed Roux, in his new position, will be tasked to develop a global calendar for World Rugby to adopt.
Roux is expected to be hired as a full-time employee of World Rugby.
Both Beaumont and Pichot see the current COVID-19-enforced international shutdown as an opportunity to press the ‘reset’ button.
Beaumont is standing for a second term and has been nominated and proposed by the Fédération Française de Rugby and seconded by the Fiji Rugby Union.
Pichot was nominated and proposed by Unión Argentina de Rugby and seconded by Rugby Australia and Sudamérica Rugby.
* Meanwhile Bernard Laporte is the only nomination for the position of Vice-Chairman.
The executive committee nominations:
Eight nominations have been received for the seven available positions on the World Rugby Executive Committee:
* Mark Alexander (South African Rugby Union), nominated and proposed by Rugby Africa and the South African Rugby Union and seconded by New Zealand Rugby and the South African Rugby Union.
* Khaled Babbou (Rugby Africa), nominated and proposed by Rugby Africa and seconded by the South African Rugby Union and the Fédération Française de Rugby.
* Bart Campbell (New Zealand Rugby), nominated and proposed by New Zealand Rugby and seconded by the South African Rugby Union.
* Gareth Davies (Welsh Rugby Union), nominated and proposed by the Scottish Rugby Union and seconded by the Welsh Rugby Union.
* John Jeffrey (Scottish Rugby Union), nominated and proposed by the Welsh Rugby Union and seconded by the Irish Rugby Football Union.
* Ratu Vilikesa Bulewa Francis Kean (Fiji Rugby Union), nominated and proposed by the Fiji Rugby Union and seconded by the Fédération Française de Rugby.
* Bob Latham (USA Rugby), nominated and proposed by USA Rugby and seconded by Rugby Americas North.
* Brett Robinson (Rugby Australia), proposed and nominated by Rugby Australia and seconded by the Unión Argentina de Rugby.
With the current COVID-19 pandemic making it impossible for meetings to go ahead as scheduled, World Rugby has confirmed that the schedule of May Council and committee meetings will be held remotely.
The Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Executive Committee will be elected for a period of four years commencing immediately after the results are announced on May 12.
Gosper left Australia aged 22 when recruited by one of France’s most celebrated rugby clubs, the Racing Club de France (now Racing 92) in Paris, where he played from 1981 to 1990. Among other success, Gosper oversaw Rugby’s successful return to the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016.
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