Bill Beaumont

Bill Beaumont
Chairman of World Rugby
Assumed office
1 July 2016
Preceded by Bernard Lapasset
Full name William Blackledge Beaumont
Date of birth (1952-03-09) 9 March 1952
Place of birth Chorley, Lancashire, England
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)[1]
Rugby union career
Current status
Position(s) Chairman of World Rugby (elected)
Vice-chairman of the International Rugby Board
Chairman of the Rugby Football Union
Playing career
Position Lock
Amateur clubs
Years Club / team

County side:
Other representative:
Fylde Rugby Club

Barbarian F.C.


North of England
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
British Lions
correct as of 1 Sept 2006.

William "Bill" Blackledge Beaumont CBE (born 9 March 1952 in Chorley, Lancashire, England) is a former rugby union player, and was captain of the England rugby union team, earning 34 caps. His greatest moment as captain was the unexpected 1980 Grand Slam. He played as a lock. He is currently a member of the International Rugby Board and Chairman of the Rugby Football Union. On 11 May 2016 he was elected Chairman of World Rugby, with his tenure having commenced on 1 July 2016.

Playing career

Bill Beaumont was educated at Cressbrook School, Kirkby Lonsdale where another England and British Lions player, J S Spencer also went and Ellesmere College in Shropshire. He joined Fylde Rugby Club, Lancashire, in 1969 when he was 17 years old and stayed with the club till injury forced his retirement in 1982.

He won 34 caps for England, then a record for a lock, and was captain 21 times. He made his international debut as a 22-year-old in Dublin in 1975 as a late replacement for Roger Uttley. He toured Australia in 1975, Japan, Fiji and Tonga in 1979, and Argentina in 1981 with England. He played 15 times for the Barbarians, including the match against the All Blacks in 1978.

Beaumont took part in the 1977 British Lions tour to New Zealand after being called up as a replacement when Nigel Horton broke his thumb, and played in the final three tests.

He took over as England captain in Paris in 1978. He was an inspiring captain of the North of England, whom he led to victory over the All Blacks in 1979, and also of England, who won their first Grand Slam for 23 years in 1980.

Beaumont then captained the 1980 British Lions tour to South Africa playing in 10 of the 18 matches. He was the first English captain of the Lions since Doug Prentice in 1930.

After rugby

Beaumont retired from rugby because of successive concussions, on medical advice from doctors, in 1982. He went on to be another captain, this time on the BBC quiz show A Question of Sport. He became the show's longest-serving captain (14 years in total), the opposing captains having been Willie Carson, Emlyn Hughes and Ian Botham. Beaumont even hosted two episodes of the show in 1996 in the regular host David Coleman's absence: Will Carling stood in as captain for Beaumont's team.

He is also the managing director of his family's textile business in Lancashire, which is the only remaining textile manufacturer in Chorley.

Since 1999 he has represented England on the International Rugby Board. He was the tour manager for the 2005 British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand. In January 2012 he put his name forward to become the next Rugby Football Union chairman,[3] and was appointed as the chairman on 8 July 2012.[4] He then applied for the role of Chairman of World Rugby to replace Bernard Lapasset and on 11 May 2016 he was unanimously elected to the office, with his tenure beginning on 1 July 2016.[5]

He is an Honorary President of the rugby charity Wooden Spoon improving the lives of disadvantaged children and young people in Britain and Ireland.

In 2007 the Rugby Football Union announced that the winners of the English County Championship would be awarded the Bill Beaumont Cup.[6]

Already Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2008 Birthday Honours.[7]


See also


External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Roger Uttley
Roger Uttley
English National Rugby Union Captain
Feb 1979-Jan 1982
Succeeded by
Roger Uttley
Steve Smith
Preceded by
Phil Bennett
British Lions rugby union captain
Succeeded by
Ciaran Fitzgerald
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