The Herald - Sport - - RUGBY WORLD CUP -

FOR rugby democ­racy, as Ar­gentina gains rep­re­sen­ta­tion on World Rugby’s ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee, and there could hardly be a more pop­u­lar choice of rep­re­sen­ta­tive than Agustin Pi­chot.

The former scrum-half, who led the Pu­mas to their first World Cup semi-fi­nal at a tour­na­ment they be­gan and ended by beat­ing hosts France, in 2007, to fin­ish in third place, just as they are hop­ing to do this time around, re­places Ir­ish­man Pe­ter Boyle, of­fer­ing a fur­ther in­di­ca­tion that the sport is open­ing up be­yond the con­trol of the orig­i­nal eight In­ter­na­tional Rugby Board mem­bers: Aus­tralia, New Zealand, South Africa, England, France, Ire­land, Scot­land and Wales.

As Pres­i­dent of the Pan Amer­i­can Rugby As­so­ci­a­tion he has al­ready had con­sid­er­able in­flu­ence on the de­vel­op­ment of the sport as a driv­ing force be­hind Ar­gentina’s im­prove­ment, in­clud­ing push­ing for their in­clu­sion in The Rugby Cham­pi­onship and the in­tro­duc­tion of an Ar­gen­tinian fran­chise in Su­per Rugby.

“I am hon­oured and de­lighted to be rep­re­sent­ing Ar­gentina and the global rugby fam­ily at this ex­cit­ing and crit­i­cal time for our sport,” he said of his elec­tion to what is ef­fec­tively the board of rugby’s global gov­ern­ing body.

“With Olympic Games in Rio and Tokyo, and a first Rugby World Cup in Asia to look for­ward to over the next four years, I am look­ing for­ward to play­ing my full part in pro­mot­ing and pro­tect­ing rugby across all na­tions.”

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