World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont says that he is “honoured and humbled” after being formally knighted by Her Majesty The Queen for services to rugby at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday.

Sir Bill, who was named in The Queen’s New Year’s honours list in December 2018, was knighted at the investiture in the presence of his wife Hilary and sons Daniel, Sam and Josh.

The knighthood is bestowed for a life dedicated to a sport that he loves and achievements in the advancement of rugby worldwide.

It recognises his leading contributions to the growth and betterment of the sport as a player and captain with Fylde, Lancashire, England and the British and Irish Lions.

It is also recognition of a visionary administrator who presided over the organisation of a record-breaking Rugby World Cup in 2015 as RFU Chairman and latterly as Chairman of World Rugby, driving governance reform and overseeing record participation and fan growth.

Beaumont said: “This is a special day for me, my family and rugby. I am humbled and honoured to have received this accolade, but for me, I have always viewed my work in the sport as a passion and a vocation, doing the very best that I can for everyone involved in the sport from grassroots clubs to the elite game. The knighthood is as much recognition for everyone who gives their all to this great sport as it is me.”

“I am fortunate to be in a position to give back to the sport I love and I am as passionate now about rugby as I was when I was when I was playing. We have made great progress on and off the field, but we are not complacent and I am determined to ensure that rugby continues to drive forward as an attractive, simple and safe sport that continues to appeal to young players and fans.”

“I could not do all of this without the support of great rugby people, but most of all it is the support of my family who have been my inspiration, enabling me to dedicate my time to a sport that I believe is the ultimate team sport.”

Beaumont was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2008, having previously been appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire. He is also Deputy Lieutenant of Lancashire.

Photo: PA Sport