Bill Beaumont to stand for World Rugby chairmanship

Bill Beaumont, right, is currently chairman of the Rugby Football Union. LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

Former England captain Bill Beaumont has announced that he will stand for the post of World Rugby chairman.

Beaumont, who currently performs the same role for the Rugby Football Union, will compete in the May 11 election after Bernard Lapasset confirmed on Wednesday that he is to step down.

"Rugby has been fundamental in my life, bringing me immense enjoyment and fulfilment over many years, both as a player and administrator," Beaumont said.

"Now it's time to attempt to repay some of what rugby has given me by standing for the role of chairman of World Rugby."

Beaumont has been RFU chairman since 2012 and was also a board member of England 2015, helping to oversee the staging of the World Cup on these shores last autumn.

If successful in his campaign to succeed Lapasset - which has the backing of the RFU - he would be forced to relinquish his post at Twickenham.

"Rugby must have strong roots to ensure healthy and sustainable growth globally," Beaumont said.

"After the largest and most successful World Cup ever, and with sevens now on the Olympic programme, we are entering a pivotal period.

"Rapid recent expansion has brought tremendous excitement and expectation, which is a credit to our current chairman Bernard Lapasset.

"Rugby now needs a modern, forward-thinking, world-leading international federation that strengthens the roots of the game's success - our financial security and fundamental rugby values - to guarantee that growth well into the future.

"I believe that with my knowledge and experience I can work with World Rugby to achieve this."

Beaumont won 34 caps and led England to a first Grand Slam in 23 years in 1980 before captaining the British and Irish Lions in that same year.

Lapasset, who has been chairman of rugby's global governing body since 1995, will step down in May to focus on spearheading Paris' bid to host the 2024 Olympics.