During a wide-ranging meeting, the first between World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont and the newly-elected FFR President Bernard Laporte, a common collaborative position was expressed regarding the game’s biggest topics. The meeting was also attended by World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper and FFR First Vice President, Serge Simon.

With the game experiencing record participation, fan and commercial growth, Beaumont outlined his vision and mandate for a strong and sustainable global game for all, founded on a global calendar that puts players and fans first, the highest standards of player welfare, eligibility reform and robust investment in targeted development programmes.

With Laporte succeeding Pierre Camou as head of the FFR last month, the former French Sports Minister and France national team head coach outlined his vision for a progressive, dynamic union and expressed the federation’s commitment to further strengthen collaboration with World Rugby and its Unions on global matters, including the development of the rugby calendar and the eligibility review. Laporte also reaffirmed his union’s commitment to delivering a strong bid for hosting Rugby World Cup 2023. 

Beaumont said: “France continues to play a pivotal role in global rugby and I am highly-encouraged by Bernard’s vision for domestic and global rugby, which is aligned with World Rugby and centred on a commitment to embrace and tackle the key challenges and opportunities that rugby faces domestically and internationally.

“I am also delighted to hear that Bernard will prioritise France’s Rugby World Cup 2023 bid, meaning that we have three very compelling and capable candidate unions as the race to host the event reaches the home straight in 2017.

“With the sport enjoying record participation and fan growth, I am looking forward to working in partnership with Bernard and his team to maximise the opportunities for the game in 2017 and beyond.”

Laporte said: “I am delighted to welcome Bill Beaumont and Brett Gosper to Paris. It is important for the FFR to strengthen dialogue with World Rugby and many important subjects were discussed, including the international calendar and eligibility rules for national teams. This meeting was very positive and beneficial for everyone. We have had the opportunity to share our points of view and we have identified the focal points on which we can work in partnership."

"The FFR’s candidature for Rugby World Cup 2023 was also a point of discussion and I reaffirmed the commitment of the federation and all of French rugby to this project. Through our candidature, we aim to showcase France’s wonderful major event credentials to host the most beautiful event in world rugby. We will be launching our project in full on 1 June.”