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  • Expanded Council convenes in Dublin for annual meeting
  • 13 new members (11 female) join World Rugby’s highest decision-making body, bringing the total to 43
  • Expansion follows landmark governance reform announced in November 2017

On a historic day for World Rugby, 13 new union and regional association representatives have been welcomed onto an expanded World Rugby Council, the sport’s highest decision-making body.

The new representatives, who joined Council for its annual meeting in Dublin on Wednesday after being appointed by their respective unions and regional associations, are:

  • Asia – Ada Milby
  • Australia – Raelene Castle and Cameron Clyne
  • England – Deborah Griffin
  • Europe – Veronika Muelhofer
  • France – Brigitte Jugla.
  • Ireland – Susan Carty
  • Japan – Keiko Asami
  • New Zealand – Dr Deb Robinson
  • Oceania – Cathy Wong
  • Scotland – Lesley Thomson
  • South America - Sebastian Piñeyrua
  • Wales – Julie Paterson

The meeting in Dublin was the first under landmark governance reform, spearheaded by World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont and passed by the decision-making body in November 2017. That reform saw World Rugby increase the number of people who may sit on Council from 32 to 49, with the 17 new representatives to be women.

So far 11 women have been appointed, with an additional six women expected to join by November’s interim meeting, representing 35 per cent of the Council. This aligns with the objectives of the ground-breaking World Rugby Women's Plan 2017-25 to accelerate women in rugby on and off the field of play and further gender equality at all levels of the sport.

Addressing the Council, Beaumont said: "I would like to warmly welcome our newest Council members and thank you not only for your passion and commitment to rugby, but for the expertise, skill and energy that you bring to the governance of the global game.

“Balanced decision-making is vital for the growth and health of our sport. We are committed to leading the acceleration of the development of women in rugby on and off the field in line with our 2017-25 Women’s Plan and believe this opens the door to even greater representation of women on Council and across rugby in the future.

“It is our strong desire to be a global leader in sport and we are advancing an inclusive environment, where women have equal opportunities in all areas, are integrated in strategy, plans and structures and are making highly-valued contributions to participation, performance and leadership. Today marks a big leap forward in that ambition.”