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Thu, 15 Nov 2018

Fiji and Samoa Join World Rugby's Council

World Rugby has welcomed Fiji and Samoa onto an expanded council, while Burkina Faso and Lebanon have been accepted as associate members.

With a new governance model paving the way for wider representation on World Rugbys council, the unions will take their place at the May 2019 annual meeting having successfully achieved the required good governance criteria as stipulated within the Bye Laws in line with governance reform launched in November 2015.

Fiji and Samoa follow Georgia, Romania and USA onto the expanded council and will act as an inspiration for other unions aspiring to take a seat at council with a clear and transparent pathway for all now operational.

Fiji run out for the final of the 2018 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens against Kenya. Picture taken by Steven Howard of Click to enlarge.

World Rugby Chair Bill Beaumont, said, "This is an historic day for World Rugby and the Pacific Islands, and a reflection of the importance and success of the transformational governance reforms made by this organisation and the unions. We are delighted to be welcoming Fiji and Samoa to the council, two unions who have contributed so much to the game. The Pacific Islands are unique, immersed in rugby, and I know that the unions will bring excellent insights and make strong contributions on council. 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. World Rugby is committed to the sustainable growth of the sport set against a backdrop of strong governance, and we will continue to work with our unions to ensure that they have all the necessary support to achieve and maintain the necessary criteria."

The council also approved the recommendation of the Executive and Regional Committees to accept Burkina Faso and Lebanon as associate members of World Rugby having met the required associate member criteria. There are now 123 national unions in membership of World Rugby.

The council also welcomed four new members in Cameron Clyne (Australia), Philip Orr (Ireland), Christina Flores (Rugby Americas North), Claudia Betancur (Sudamerica Rugby) and Suzanna Vecci (Italy). The council now stands at 49 members, of whom 14 are women.

Mark Alexander (South Africa) has been elected onto the World Rugby Executive Committee, replacing the seat vacated by Pat Whelan (Ireland), who stood down earlier this year.

Meanwhile, conditional sanctioning was granted for the Global Rapid Rugby tournament subject to approval from participating unions. The competition aims to further rugbys spread across the Asia-Pacific area, providing high performance competition for emerging nations.

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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