29 Jul 2008

Report urges overhaul of International Rugby Board

6:31 pm on 29 July 2008

A report on the state of rugby says the game's ruling body is undemocratic and unrepresentative.

Putting Rugby First says the International Rugby Board's eight founding members should not have a permanent veto on any proposal when the IRB has 115 members.

The report cites the decision to award the 2011 World Cup to New Zealand over Japan as an example of how rugby is failing to take advantage of Asian markets.

It says 97 percent of the 33 million people who watched last year's World Cup final came from the eight so-called foundation countries: England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Recommendations include overhauling the IRB's structure, specific programmes with firm targets in growth regions, staging the 2015 Rugby World Cup in one of those regions and including rugby sevens at the 2016 Olympics.