British Olympic Association Chairman and former Olympics Minister Sir Hugh Robertson will chair a new independent-led governance review launched by World Rugby.
The governing body says it aims to build on a review taken in 2015, which it says delivered ‘transformational’ changes to the make-up of the federation’s decision-making body, the World Rugby Council, including wider union representation and greater gender diversity.
Robertson will chair a new working group comprised of independent experts including Olympic gold medallist Angela Ruggiero and former Governor General of Australia Sir Peter Cosgrove, as well as representatives from World Rugby, national unions, regions and players groups.
"In our manifesto, Bernard Laporte and I made a promise to undertake a governance review to ensure World Rugby is agile in its thinking and decision-making and our structures further reflect the diversity and values of our game,” said Sir Bill Beaumont, World Rugby Chairman.
"This is more important now than ever, and I would like to thank Sir Hugh Robertson for agreeing to lead this process as well as the experienced, independent experts who will be part of this Working Group. As our game continues to grow and we welcome new playing nations, it is imperative our structures and leadership reflect our ambitions and the universality of the game."
The working group will address areas such as gender balance, diversity and player representation on World Rugby’s boards, committees and governance structures, as well as examining the criteria for appointment of Council members and the introduction of a fit and proper person test for its elected members.
Working Group Chair Sir Hugh Robertson added: "I am looking forward to working with this talented team from around the globe to conduct a comprehensive review and identify best practice.
“Rugby is a thriving global sport, with a spirit of inclusivity, unity and diversity, and I am committed to ensuring that this is reflected in the review process and any recommendations made by the Working Group."
World Rugby says the findings of the group will be presented to the World Rugby Council later this year.