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Australia chairman eyes powerful role at World Rugby

Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan is considering a tilt at one of the most powerful positions in the sport, saying that the southern hemisphere needs a seat at the top table.

The 56-year-old told Thursday’s Sydney Morning Herald he could run to become vice-chairman of global governing body World Rugby.

“Yes, a few people have asked me to throw my hat in the ring, it’s an intriguing thought. We’ll see if anything eventuates,” he said.

Scottish Rugby powerbroker John Jeffrey is set to be confirmed as vice-chairman next week, replacing the disgraced Bernard Laporte, who was convicted of corruption in France.

Jeffrey was the only candidate nominated and will serve out the rest of the current term through to November next year.

The Herald said he was then widely expected to run for the top job when current chairman, England’s Bill Beaumont, steps down, opening the door for McLennan to be his deputy.

McLennan could face competition, with South African Rugby president Mark Alexander and former Argentina international Agustin Pichot also said to be interested in the vice-chairman job.

“Gus or Mark might have a crack, somebody from New Zealand might have a crack, so who knows the lay of the land,” McLennan said.

“It may not be me, but I do believe the south deserves a stronger voice at the table, and we’re certainly looking to innovate around law variations and at a Super Rugby level, including how we promote the game.”

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