Mr Herbert Mensah, President and Board Chairperson of Ghana Rugby, issued letters of congratulations to the re-elected Chairperson of World Rugby, Sir Bill Beaumont, as well as to the African EXCO Members Mr Khaled Babbou (President: Rugby Africa) and Mr Mark Alexander (President: South African Rugby Union).
World Rugby unexpectedly announced the result of the just-ended election of a new World Rugby Executive Committee.
The new Executive Committee will comprise of Sir Bill Beaumont (Chairman), Bernard Laporte (Vice-Chairman), Brett Gosper (Chief Executive), Angela Ruggiero (Independent), Lord Mervyn Davies (Independent); Mark Alexander (South African Rugby Union), Khaled Babbou (Rugby Africa), Bart Campbell (New Zealand Rugby), Gareth Davies (Welsh Rugby Union), John Jeffrey (Scottish Rugby), Bob Latham (USA Rugby) and Brett Robinson (Rugby Australia).
In his messages of congratulations, Mensah stated that times have changed and greater equity was required for all. He noted the positivity of having President Khaled Babbou elected to the New Executive Committee (a first for Africa Rugby).
“The President of Rugby Africa’s ascendence to the Executive Committee is an indication of changing times. The elections are often seen as simply a stay or changing of the guard and not a time to change,” Mensah said.
But Mensah hoped that the gap between the haves and the have-nots would be tackled proactively. Rugby has major challenges to tackle and overcome and he expressed the hope and believe that the newly elected EXCO will indeed tackle and overcome all the challenges ahead to ensure the continued growth and well-being of Rugby, also in Africa.
Mensah also extended his appreciation to Mr Agustín Picho who unsuccessfully contested for the top position in World Rugby and thanked him for his selfless service to Rugby as Vice-Chairperson over the past four years.
Africa is well-represented on the new World Rugby Executive Committee with both Mr Mark Alexander (President: South African Rugby Union) and Mr Khaled Babbou (President: Rugby Africa) occupying a seat. All Members of the Executive Committee were ‘elected’ unopposed.
Mensah congratulated both Babbou and Alexander with their positions on the World Rugby EXCO and expressed the hope that they will do all they can to improve the support to Africa from the world governing body.
“We fully realise that the World Rugby EXCO is there to execute the will of the World Rugby Council for the greater good of rugby. The plight of developing rugby in the world, however, is huge and I believe that the position of a region such as Africa as one of the fastest-growing areas of the Game should be reviewed as a matter of urgency,” Mensah said.