Agustin Pichot blasts World Rugby and Bill Beaumont in scathing interview

Former World Rugby vice chairman Agustin Pichot has unleashed a withering attack on the governing body and its current boss Sir Bill Beaumont.

The Argentina star attacked World Rugby in an interview with the Daily Mail and warned that they could eliminate rugby union if adjustments aren’t made.

Pichot characterized the elite level of the sport as a “old boys club” that is opposed to growing the game and assisting the development of the developing nations.

The 49-year-old further asserted that the hierarchy is isolating him despite his four years as a vital member of the organization.

“Nothing has changed”

“It’s not a global game,” he told the Mail. “We can say, ‘Oh, Portugal beat Fiji’ but I strongly believe rugby is at a critical point. A lot of unions are trying to keep the old boys’ club.

“I attempted to assist, but the Six Nations prevented me by contacting every union, particularly World Rugby CEO Alan Gilpin and JJ (John Jeffrey) because they are under threat. Guys, it’s not scary, come on. The game is great.

‘Bill, I ran against you because you wanted to go down one path that won’t develop and be global,’ I told him when he visited Argentina last year. Now you can see it. There has been no change.

Pichot was elected vice chairman of World Rugby in 2016 and stood against Beaumont for chairman in 2020, but was defeated by a vote count of 28 to 23.

After that outcome, he resigned from the World Rugby council and has since frequently criticized the present administration.

In June 2026, call me and ask me about Portugal. There will be a déjà vu-style plot. The Rugby Championship is in one corner, and the Six Nations is in the other, he remarked.

It’s about survival and self-preservation. The system is constructed to safeguard the core. They must realize that greater is better, but they are unwilling to take that chance. However, they are already in danger. They are losing money. A debate about taking chances in pursuit of a larger goal is necessary.

The former scrum-half joined World Rugby in the hopes of fostering the growth of other developing nations. He was a crucial figure in getting Argentina into the Rugby Championship.

That has not transpired, according to Pichot, and he has slammed some of the Six Nations countries for failing to help the sport grow.

“Bernard Lapasset, when he was World Rugby chairman, had this vision and that’s why I joined. He asked me to join to counteract the home unions,” he said.

“I told Bill Beaumont, ‘I won’t bother you, I want to grow this game and you are a rugby guy so we will do it.’ Then he wasn’t allowed, because of the (RFU chief executive) Bill Sweeneys of this world and we went separate ways.

“Bernard had a vision. He asked me to join him to get rugby into the Olympics and I was with him all the way.

“What relevant thing has happened since 2015? What have we changed since, like Bernard did with the Olympics and with Argentina joining the Rugby Championship?”

World League concept

The “World League,” which was first proposed by Pichot, will be marketed by World Rugby as innovative, but the Argentine angrily denies that this was his actual notion.

Due to it being ring-fenced until 2030 under the present idea, which is scheduled to be implemented in 2026, it might be detrimental to the tier two sides.

To be clear, this variation on my idea is not a multi-national game. Just six years of a closed shop. We will reject it,” he declared.

But here’s the crazy part: even the Georgia men will support it. Rugby Europe votes in favor of it. Yet they receive nothing! I don’t understand why they would support it.

The plan was also criticized, and South American rugby’s president Sebastian Pineyrua cautioned that it would have terrible effects on the sport.

Pineyrua declared, “Rugby is dead.” It will eradicate rugby. In four or five years, it will be impossible to compete with those teams. They will rise, while the others will fall.

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