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Outgoing World Rugby chairman, Bernard Lapasset, gave, what might be his last interview, to the French sports newspaper, L’Equipe, He chronicled successes and regrets during his eight-years at the helm.
Under his reign, rugby witnessed spectacular growth worldwide with the 2009 invitation into the Olympics, a major coup for the sport. That Rio 2016 milestone also signified the growth and popularity of sevens as a popular fan alternative to fifteen’s play.
Of most concern to rugby currently, and in the future, Lapasset mentioned the health and safety of players. He said, “There’s a lot of rule work still to be done in the rucks, which I perceive as being dangerous.”
The other areas of interest, problems that need to be addressed, numbered the calendar of rugby test matches for both fifteens and sevens, the dominance of the Southern Hemisphere nations, and the idea of relegation in the Six Nations European tournament,
He also reminisced about the IRB decisions to support professionalism for rugby, which, originally, his predecessor Syd Miller had expressed doubts, hoping to retain amateurism.
He took particular pride in the 2015 Rugby World Cup that set many records for the event.
Next, he will be co-president of the Paris 2024 bid for the summer Olympics. The city will compete with Los Angeles, Lima, and Budapest to host the games.