A highly productive week of meetings in Buenos Aires concluded with World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont and Vice-Chairman Agustín Pichot being received by the President of the Argentine nation, Mauricio Macri.
With Argentina at the heart of the rugby participation growth success story in South America, matters of sporting interest were discussed, including the role of sport in society and rugby's role in engaging millennials and inspiring participation.
Highlights included the inaugural meeting of the Women's Advisory Committee, which will preside over the development and growth of one of the world's fastest-growing team sports, reflecting World Rugby's ongoing commitment to growing participation and increasing profile.
Independent Wendy Luhabe made her Executive Committee debut as the decision-making board considered the latest player welfare research and interventions and approved the establishment of a working group to undertake a root and branch review of Regulation 8 (eligibility), a key workstream from the Rugby Committee meeting in Fiji in June.
Executive Committee decisions
- Player welfare: The Executive Committee approved the removal of Law 3.12(c) – temporary replacement, head injury replacement is removed with immediate effect in accordance with Bye-Law 12.2. This is to enable the replacement player to take kicks at goal if required.
- Eligibility: The Executive Committee approved the immediate establishment of a working group to review Regulation 8 in its totality in order to determine whether the current regulation is fit for purpose.
- Fan-engagement: The Executive Committee approved an extension of the player microphone trial to include the men's and women's HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2016-17 season.
The Rugby Committee considered the initial findings of an unprecedented study into the causal factors behind head injury assessment incidents in the elite game as World Rugby continues to prioritise injury prevention in the sport. The Rugby Committee also considered the latest data which confirms that injuries in elite men's and women's rugby are not increasing.
The Rugby Committee also reviewed the latest feedback from the closed law trials currently operational ahead of recommendations being made to Council in November as to which laws are trialled globally next year.
Rugby World Cup Board
The Rugby World Cup Board considered Japan's preparations for hosting Rugby World Cup 2019, Ireland's hosting of Women's Rugby World Cup 2017, USA's hosting of Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 and a review of the applicant phase of the Rugby World Cup 2023 host selection process.
World Rugby is also committed to a the development of a sustainable global calendar beyond Rugby World Cup 2019 that will further the continued growth of the sport and player welfare. Detailed consideration continues.
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: "Over the course of a highly-productive week of committee and board meetings, we have considered some important and pressing topics from player welfare, game growth and law trials to eligibility and preparations for Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan.
"Strong progress is being made, especially in the priority area of player welfare, and we must continue to ensure that as the sport continues to grow at record pace we ensure that it is as safe and enjoyable to play as possible. Further consideration of key topics will be made at Council and EXCO in November.”