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Fiji Rugby Achieves Major Milestone

Transformation journey results in World Rugby Council seat, says Kean
24 May 2019 14:28
Fiji Rugby Achieves Major Milestone
From left: Fiji Rugby Union chairman Francis Kean, World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont and Samoa Rugby Union chair, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi in Dublin, Ireland on May 22, 2019. Photo: World Rugby

It’s a milestone achievement for Fiji Rugby to finally participate in their first World Rugby Council meeting in Dublin, Ireland.

These were the words of Fiji Rugby Union board chairman Francis Kean.

“It’s a big achievement especially after playing rugby for over 100 years that we finally have a voice in World Rugby,” he told SUNsports last night.

“I want to thank all our predecessors as we can see and understand the finer details of all the decisions made by World Rugby.

“A big thank you to all the FRU council members and affiliates for trusting and believing in the vision the board brought to FRU.

“This World Rugby Council seat is a testament to the transformation journey at Rugby House which started in 2015.”

Joining Fiji was Samoa and the Pacific Islands neighbours were elected onto the council, which now comprises 51 members, after successfully meeting new governance criteria, following reforms launched in 2015.

World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont hailed the landmark meeting and praised “the enormous contribution” Pacific Islands countries have made to the global game.

“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,” he said.

“We are delighted to be welcoming Fiji and Samoa to Council, two unions who have contributed so much to the game.

“The Pacific Islands are unique, immersed in rugby heritage, 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 support to achieve and maintain the necessary criteria.”

Samoa Rugby Union chair, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Malielegaoi, added: “The World Rugby Council is a very important place to be – it is where decisions are made on the future of the sport and Samoa is very excited to be here.

A record 17 of the 51 World Rugby Council member positions are now occupied by women including Fiji’s Cathy Wong, who was one of two Oceania Rugby representatives in attendance alongside Papua New Guinea’s Richard Sapias.

Edited by Anasilini Natoga

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj

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