World Rugby chairman and ex-England captain Bill Beaumont awarded a knighthood

Bill Beaumont was elected chairman of World Rugby in 2016.
Bill Beaumont was elected chairman of World Rugby in 2016.

World Rugby Chairman and former England captain Bill Beaumont has been knighted in the Queen's New Year Honours list for his services to rugby.

Beaumont has been instrumental in his contribution to the game and was elected as the chairman of governing body in 2016 after previously working as vice-chairman between 2007 and 2012.

In 2012, he also took the responsibility of chairman role with the Rugby Football Union during which England successfully hosted the 2015 World Cup that created terrific response from fans all over the world.

The 66-year-old has been a constant force driving the game forward and during his tenure as World Rugby chairman the sevens format and the women's game gained a greater recognition.

Beaumont said he was "honoured and humbled" on receiving the knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II and is looking to strengthen the fan base in the game. He also expressed keenness on making the upcoming World Cup in Japan next year a success considering it is the first ever edition to be hosted in Asia.

“I am honoured and humbled to receive this accolade from Her Majesty the Queen for services to rugby," he told World Rugby official website.

"I have always viewed my work in the sport as an administrator as that of a guardian, driven by a passion to do the very best I can for rugby and the people who give up their time every week on the touchlines at rugby clubs around the world to inspire new generations of players, supporters and volunteers. It is as much recognition for them and all who work in the sport as it is me.

“Rugby has been my life for more than half a century and has given me so much joy as a player, a father of rugby-playing sons and an administrator.

"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 pulling on that Fylde, Lancashire, England or British and Irish Lions jersey.

"Rugby has made great progress on and off the field in recent years and I believe that we are on an incredible journey with significant participation and fan growth, while 2019 is set to be a game-changer as we look ahead to the first Rugby World Cup in Asia.

“In my opinion, rugby is the ultimate team sport – a sport with strong values and where the team is always greater than the individual – and I have been blessed to have played and worked with some superb people along the way who share the same passion for the betterment of the sport.

"There is, however, one person who has supported me above all else, through thick and thin, from my playing days to now – my wife Hilary – she has is my rock and inspiration.”

Beaumont represented England 34 times between 1975 and 1982 with his notable achievement coming in 1980 when he led the national side to their first ever Grand Slam in 23 years.

Beaumont also captained British and Irish Lions during their tour of South Africa in 1980 and was forced to retire from the game following medical advice due to series of concussions.