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Thu, 23 May 2019

Fiji and Samoa Join World Rugby Council

Fiji and Samoa participated in their first World Rugby Council meeting on Wednesday, while Algeria was accepted as an associate member.

Having successfully achieved the required good governance criteria in line with World Rugby's governance reform launched in November 2015, the unions follow Georgia, Romania and USA onto the expanded council which now comprises 51 members.

Fiji wearing black for the game against Team USA at the Cathay Pacific / HSBC World Rugby Hong Kong Sevens 2019. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont welcomed Khaled Babbou (Rugby Africa), Vanessa Doble (South Africa), Sol Iglesias (Argentina), Francis Kean (Fiji) and the Honorable Prime Minister Tuilaepa Malielegaoi (Samoa) to their first Council meeting, while also paying tribute to Aziz Bougja, who stepped down as Rugby Africa president last year.

"We are delighted to be welcoming Fiji and Samoa to council, two unions who have contributed so much to the game. The Pacific Islands are unique, immersed in rugby heritage, and I know that the unions will bring excellent insights and make strong contributions on council," said Sir Bill Beaumont. "This shows that the model is in place, the pathway is in place and the door is open to other unions who aspire to have a seat on council. We encourage all unions to take inspiration from Fiji and Samoa, review their governance and strive to achieve the required criteria."

Neat pass! Samoa in action against Team USA at the Cathay Pacific / HSBC World Rugby Hong Kong Sevens 2019. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

The Prime Minister of Samoa, Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Neioti Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi, said, "The World Rugby Council is a very important place to be - it is where decisions are made on the future of the sport and Samoa is very excited to be here. We've played an active role in participating in international rugby competitions across the world – from fifteens to sevens – despite being a very small country with a small player pool so for us to be here at this meeting, and to unite with World Rugby on their vision to grow the sport, is an incredible learning experience."

The council also approved the appointment of Khaled Babbou (Rugby Africa), Claudia Betancur (Sudamerica Rugby), Rolande Boro (Rugby Africa) to the Regional Advisory Committee, which is chaired by Dennis Dwyer (RAN). 

Rugby pictures: Pictures from 2019 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Pictures from 2018 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Pictures from 2017 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Pictures from 2016 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Pictures of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2015, Pictures of the Asia Rugby Sevens Olympic Games Qualifier in Hong Kong, Pictures of Singha Thailand Sevens 2015, Pictures from the 2013 British & Irish Lions Tour in Hong Kong, Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2014, Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2013, Pictures of Chartis Cup 2012 and Pictures of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2012.

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