Bill Beaumont has been unanimously elected World Rugby chairman here today and will begin his term on July 1 ©Getty Images

Bill Beaumont said he believes a compromise needs to be reached between the northern and southern hemispheres to establish a global calendar that better integrates both parties after being unanimously elected World Rugby chairman here today.

This is something that the Englishman vowed to address in his 20-page manifesto, which could potentially have implications for the scheduling of the Six Nations - a body he has chaired for four years.

Players' union representatives, professional clubs and the southern hemisphere unions are all lobbying for changes to the existing tours structure and financial distributions with no international fixtures currently scheduled beyond 2019.

"I don’t necessarily think that someone has to budge," said Beaumont, who will officially begin his term on July 1.

"I think it’s about reaching compromises.

"You might get a situation like in a business deal, where you actually shake hands on something you’re both slightly disappointed with and would like to get a bit more.

"And it could be one of these decisions that is made regarding the calendar."

On what has been described as an historic day for the world governing body, Agustín Pichot has also become the first-ever Argentinian to serve as vice-chairman.

Beaumont and Pichot, who stood unopposed, were unanimously voted in by members of World Rugby's Council in accordance with the bye-laws at its annual meeting.

Bill Beaumont (right) will succeed Bernard Lapasset (left) as World Rugby chairman
Bill Beaumont (right) will succeed Bernard Lapasset (left) as World Rugby chairman ©Getty Images

Both World Rugby Hall of Fame inductees, they will succeed chairman Bernard Lapasset and vice-chairman Oregan Hoskins, who previously announced they would not seek re-election.

Beaumont, the chairman of England’s Rugby Football Union, served as vice-chairman from 2007 to 2012 and has been a figure on the World Rugby Council, Executive Committee, Rugby World Cup Board and Rugby Committee bodies.

"I am honoured to accept the mandate of Council to serve as World Rugby chairman at what is an exciting and pivotal time for the sport," said the 64-year-old, who was capped 34 times by England during his international career. 

"Rugby has experienced significant and rapid growth, which is a credit to Bernard Lapasset and his leadership over the past eight years.

"The sport is in excellent health and over the next four years there will be many great opportunities to further develop and grow the game.

"However, we cannot be complacent.

"Rugby, like all sports, faces challenges and my manifesto outlines the five priorities focused on addressing these.

"These priorities are continuing to protect players, preserving integrity, enhancing global competition, optimising partnerships and empowering and strengthening unions.

"I will nurture the roots of rugby, our fundamental values and financial security and will make rugby decisions for rugby reasons.

"As World Rugby chairman, I will work with unions over the next four years to deliver healthy, sustainable growth for the game we all love."

Agustín Pichot has become the first-ever Argentinian to serve as vice-chairman of World Rugby
Agustín Pichot has become the first-ever Argentinian to serve as vice-chairman of World Rugby ©Getty Images

Rugby Americas President Pichot is a former captain of Argentina's 15s and sevens teams and a bronze medallist at the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

The 41-year-old has helped towards the establishment of the Americas Rugby Championship and the introduction of an Argentinian team in Super Rugby, the pre-eminent professional men's rugby union football competition in the southern hemisphere and Japan. 

"I am honoured and excited to have been elected vice-chairman at what is an extremely exciting time for the growth and development of rugby and I would like to thank my Council colleagues and friends for their support and confidence," said Pichot.

"I look forward to working alongside Bill, with the support of the new-look Council and EXCO to serve rugby at all levels, promote inclusivity and equality and ensure that our great sport can continue its record growth into new and emerging rugby nations around the world."

Beaumont was defeated by Lapasset 14-12 in the last election, held in Los Angeles in December 2011.

He then lost his position as vice-chairman to Hoskins when, following two ballots which ended 13-13, Lapasset cast his deciding vote for the South African.

The outgoing Lapasset is standing down to focus on his role as co-chairman of the Paris bid to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"Rugby is in great shape around the world and I am proud that I vacate the position after eight wonderful years, during which we have achieved record participation, increased interest and engagement, Olympic inclusion and record-breaking Rugby World Cups," he said.

World Rugby has welcomed Georgia, Romania and the United States on to an expanded Council
World Rugby has welcomed Georgia, Romania and the United States on to an expanded Council ©World Rugby

Another significant development today sees Georgia, Romania and the United States all welcomed on to an expanded World Rugby Council.

With a new governance model paving the way for wider representation on World Rugby’s Council, the three unions have taken their place having successfully achieved all of the required good governance criteria as stipulated within the bye-laws and announced last November.

Georgia, whose national sport is rugby, enjoyed their best-ever Rugby World Cup campaign at last year’s edition in England. 

"This is a very special and proud day for Georgian rugby and ambitious rugby unions as a whole, who now have a dedicated pathway and incentive through good governance to membership on the World Rugby Council," said Gocha Svanidze, President of the Georgian Rugby Union.

"Georgia looks forward to playing its full part on Council in shaping the future of the game on and off the field and would like to thank Bernard Lapasset and World Rugby for its support during this process."

Although already represented on Council, Argentina and Italy will each be entitled to a second representative in another amendment to the composition ahead of an interim meeting in November.