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Beaumont honoured as he receives knighthood

Former British & Irish Lions captain and Tour manager Sir Bill Beaumont admits he was honoured to receive his knighthood from the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

The 66-year-old, who is now chairman of World Rugby, collected his award along with former England cricket captain Sir Alastair Cook, while fellow British & Irish captain Willie John McBride received a CBE.

Beaumont said after collecting his knighthood: “This is a special day for me, my family and rugby.

“I am humbled and honoured to have received this accolade, but for me, I have always viewed my work in the sport as a passion and a vocation, doing the very best that I can for everyone involved in the sport from grassroots clubs to the elite game. The knighthood is as much recognition for everyone who gives their all to this great sport as it is me.

“I am fortunate to be in a position to give back to the sport I love and I am as passionate now about rugby as I was when I was when I was playing. We have made great progress on and off the field, but we are not complacent and I am determined to ensure that rugby continues to drive forward as an attractive, simple and safe sport that continues to appeal to young players and fans.

“I could not do all of this without the support of great rugby people, but most of all it is the support of my family who have been my inspiration, enabling me to dedicate my time to a sport that I believe is the ultimate team sport.”

As a player, Beaumont captained his country and played in the back row earning selection for the 1977 Lions Tour of New Zealand.

That came as an injury replacement for compatriot Nigel Horton, and he made such an impact in his time in New Zealand that he featured in the last three Tests against the All Blacks.

Three years later he was chosen to captain the Lions on their Tour of South Africa, becoming the first English captain of the side in 50 years.

Beaumont, who played his club rugby for Fylde, retired in 1982 but his relationship with the Lions has continued in his post-playing career as he was team manager for the Lions on their 2005 Tour of New Zealand.

As a rugby administrator, he has worked as Chairman of the Six Nations, and has since gone on to work as Chairman of World Rugby.

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