The French dominate the top of Rugby World magazine’s latest list

Bernard Laporte Named Most Influential Person in Rugby 2022

Bernard Laporte has been named the most influential person in rugby by Rugby World magazine.

Every two years Rugby World pulls together a list of the sport’s 50 most influential people and the World Rugby vice-chairman (and French rugby federation president) is in top spot for 2022.

Laporte is a man who divides opinion. After all, he goes on trial in France next month for various financial allegations, which he strenuously denies.

However, there can be no doubting the power he has in the game, for now at least.

As one source puts it: “Bernard gets things done. He’s moody, he’s not a man who’d go for a pint with you, he’s always got somewhere to be, but he’s majorly influential.

“He believes in a global season, he believes in a World Club Championship, he believes in empowering the women’s game and he believes that U20s rugby should be championed.

“He’s actually done what not many people thought possible. He’s brought peace between the French clubs and the French federation.”

Laporte isn’t the only Frenchman in the top ten. In fact, there are another four, which isn’t surprising when you consider the next men’s Rugby World Cup is being staged in France, the national men’s and women’s teams are enjoying success, and the French clubs are dominating Europe.

France captain Antoine Dupont and coach Fabien Galthie both make the upper echelons of the list, as does RWC 2023 chief executive Claude Atcher.

Ben Morel, another Frenchman, also features for his work as CEO of the Six Nations. He’s been part of the successful decision to move the women’s championship to a separate window, done a deal with Amazon Prime Video to broadcast the autumn Internationals and is a leading figure in the men’s global season discussions.

With private equity investment in rugby on the rise, CVC managing partner Nick Clarry is also high up on the list, while Steve Thompson is also recognised as he has positioned himself front and centre when it comes to the issue of brain injuries in the sport.

Also in the top ten are World Rugby’s CEO Alan Gilpin, director of women’s rugby Sally Horrox and former All Black Conrad Smith, who is head of player welfare for International Rugby Players.

Here’s the top ten of Rugby World’s Most Influential People in Rugby in 2022…

  1. Bernard Laporte
  2. Nick Clarry
  3. Ben Morel
  4. Antoine Dupont
  5. Claude Atcher
  6. Alan Gilpin
  7. Fabien Galthie
  8. Steve Thompson
  9. Sally Horrox
  10. Conrad Smith

The full list of 50 is revealed in the September 2022 edition of Rugby World, which is on sale from 2 to 29 August.

The process for compiling the list is exhaustive, with opinions canvassed from all over the world and a panel of people involved in different sectors of the sport convened in London over the summer.

We aim to encapsulate all spheres of influence, whether it’s the administrators who hold positions of power, the coaches determining how the game is played, the players inspiring through their actions, the broadcasters and investors funding the sport, those shaking things up from behind the scenes…

Let us know what you think of our list of the 50 Most Influential People in Rugby 2022 by emailing or getting in touch via social media using the hashtag #RW50.

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