In an extensive interview with the New Zealand television program The Breakdown, Wolrd Rugby President Bill Beaumont referred to the government analysis carried out by a World Rugby commission and could modify the voting rights of member unions. The Englishman was reelected a few months ago as president of the world rugby organization: he obtained 28 of the 51 available votes in a face-to-face competition with Agustín Pichot.
However, the elections were riddled with criticism regarding the voting structure by which smaller countries like Japan, which hosted the most successful World Cup of all time in 2019, do not have the same number of votes. than the countries competing in the Six Nations and the Rugby Championship.
The members of the Six Nations (England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France and Italy) have three votes, as do the four SANZAAR countries (New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina).
Japan had two votes, while seven other countries; Romania, Georgia, Uruguay, the United States, Canada, Samoa and Fiji each had one. That gave a total of 39 “country” votes. Then there were six regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, North / Central America, South America and Oceania, each with two votes, with a total of 12 ‘region’ votes, and a total of 51.
On the television show featuring former All Blacks Jeff Wilson, Mils Muliaina and John Kirwan, Beaumont was criticized for inequalities in the current voting system. Addressing the issue, Muliaina asked: “The voting system is not very democratic, is it? When can we see it change so that people like the Pacific Islands can have the same vote? When can we see that change?
Speaking from Spain, Beaumont said: “Part of my manifesto was that there was going to be a complete review of all government actions and that is taking place right now. I am not involved with the commission that studies all these possible changes, but certainly every union has the right to write to Hugh Robertson, who is the chairman of that commission, and they can make his recommendation. ”
“But if you think about the previous four years I was there we had additional votes. Fiji and Samoa joined the council, Japan obtained additional votes, Argentina obtained additional votes. Now there is an opportunity for countries to sit at the table and get additional votes, but I am not prejudging what will happen. Let’s look forward and see what there is to say. “
Kirwan didn’t let the matter rest there and asked, “What would be your personal decision, Bill?” Beaumont replied: “My personal decision is that you have to make sure that the Pacific islands feel like they are sitting at the table, something that happens right now with the exception of Tonga. In the current system some countries have a vote. There are other countries that have two votes, others have three and four votes and that is in a voting system that was decided and agreed between the unions in Tokyo two years ago. “