Thursday, 10 March 2016

The new voting structure on the World Rugby Council

An explanation of the reforms to the World Rugby voting structure, which sees three new Tier 2 Unions receive votes, although only a small rise in terms of influence of their vote.

Last November changes were announced in voting structure on the World Rugby Council. The previous structure had been heavily criticised as representative more towards amateur era times, and the Putting Rugby First report of 2008 listed a change to that as one of the primary reforms that WR needed to take.

The old voting structure was notable for the dominance of the 8 Foundation Unions (old 5 Nations + Tri Nations) which made up 62% of the vote. Both Italy and Argentina were only getting half the vote of other Tier 1 Unions, whilst Japan and Canada were the only Tier 2 nations sitting at the table.

Under the new structure, now Italy and Argentina are put on a par with the other Tier 1 Unions and are the major winners from the reforms. In addition to that alongside Japan and Canada, the USA, Georgia and Romania also gained individual votes for themselves.

However these reforms are still quite modest in terms of percentage of the overall vote. The overall share of the voting sway the five Tier 2 Unions on the council now have is 11%, just a slight rise from the 8% of the vote the two Unions previously had.

It also should be remembered that whilst an increase in power to Italy and Argentina has reduced the Foundation Union vote share, that is not necessarily good news for Tier 2 Unions. The Italians in particular aren't exactly going to be a Union putting forward policies generous towards progression of Georgian rugby for instance ...

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