Josh Beaumont column: Dad is definitely the right man to steer World Rugby through this tricky period

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In his latest column for TRU, Josh Beaumont discusses his father’s re-election as World Rugby’s chairman + he provides us with an update on his recovery from injury and his hopes regarding the resumption of the season.

Road to Recovery

It is difficult during this lockdown period to continue my recovery from injury, but you have just got to make the most out of the situation.

We were lucky to get a load of equipment from Carrington just before we went into lockdown. I’d luckily just moved to my new house so I had a bit more space. I have got a decent little set-up! I can do enough to keep ticking over, but it has probably got to a stage now where I need to progress things a bit and increase the load going through my knee which is quite difficult when you haven’t got all the equipment.

Saying that, it is coming on quite well as it is giving it extra time for the tendon to bed back into the muscle so we just have to make the most of what we have at the moment. You have just got to try and find new ways to be active, but hopefully the restrictions won’t last too much longer so we can get back into a gym or a training facility. 

I hadn’t been able to do much fitness work at the start of my injury, but I did manage to get hold of a wattbike. I am on my third week of that so I quite enjoy just changing things up a bit.

At least I am not missing any rugby, either! That was the one thing that I was getting frustrated about so that is the one positive out of this situation from a personal point of view!

Hopes for the season

I would love to see the season resume. Hopefully I will be fit if it does come back in July or August as it might fit in with my return! I just want to get back playing like everyone else. You have just got to go off what the government say at the moment. It is definitely going to be behind closed doors and I can’t see fans returning in the immediate future, but we do want to get back to training and get the games back on so fans do get the chance to see live sport back on TV, and especially live rugby.

For us a players, we will need a four-week period to come back and get back into shape, get back to training in small groups and then we can get into a team environment. That has to be safe so things like testing will probably be involved to make sure no-one picks up the virus, but we will have to see. It is going to be strange but we do want to get back playing.

Sale searching for silverware

We are in a great position to go on and win something this year. It is the best position we have been in for so long. We’re second in the table and I know we have separated ourselves slightly from the rest of the pack. I know Bristol [Bears] are behind us, but we have got a very good run-in on paper as we have a lot of winnable games at home so if you can win those matches at the AJ Bell and pick up one or two victories on the road, that should hopefully see you in that play-off position. Obviously, we don’t know what format the Premiership might be like when we return. I am sure PRL are discussing their plans but I guess it changes daily with what the government are saying.

Beaumont’s re-election

We found out on Saturday too! I am obviously very pleased and proud of his achievement. The whole campaign was quite interesting really because the fact that there wasn’t much rugby going on around the world, this kind of took centre stage!

Usually, there would be Champions Cup quarter-finals, Super Rugby, Premiership all going on so it probably wouldn’t have made the papers!

It has been an interesting debate. Seeing what Gus [Agustin Pichot] was proposing, they weren’t vastly different in terms of their manifestos and their vision for the global game, but I think Dad is definitely the right man to steer World Rugby through this tricky time and bring all the unions and the world rugby community together.

There have been great strides made in the last four years in aspects such as player welfare. I have seen those quite visibly being a player. I think he had a successful four years, but to really roll out the concept of the Nations Championship is another challenge for him. There seems to be more of a collaboration in terms of getting that back on the table and something happening there so that would be nice if he can see that project through. As he said, it is only half-time so there is still more work to be done!

Bringing the game together

I think you can see the growth in both the women’s game and sevens rugby. The women’s game over the last couple of years has really made big strides. The last two Six Nations are evidence of that. We see it quite visibly here in the UK and especially now at Sale with the new Women’s team for next season so that is very exciting. It is good to see rugby growing from grassroots level to the elite level.

Sticking with the grassroots level, Fylde, a club close to my heart, are having their centenary year. It was an exciting time for them towards the end of this season. They had a sniff of that second place and the play-off in National Two North and obviously that game against the Barbarians was going to be the highlight of the year so for all that to end is disappointing for the community, but also because of the financial implications this all has.

We are seeing a number of clubs trying to raise funds in different ways and I know Fylde are trying their best because Covid-19 has seen them lose their big source of revenue. Hopefully people, if they can do, can contribute during this tough time to help clubs get through this period and I am sure we will all be back enjoying our Saturday afternoons, standing on the side of a rugby pitch soon enough.

Josh spoke to TRU's Chris Heal

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