The next boss of World Rugby could be announced as early as tonight, rather than on the original date of 12 May.

The vote closed on Thursday with current chairman Sir Bill Beaumont and vice-chairman Agustin Pichot vying for the top job in the sport.

While the process is confidential, it is understood one of the candidates has won a majority.

So Beaumont and Pichot have agreed to bring the announcement forward after one of the closest races in history.

Once the decision is cleared by the World Rugby council, the governing body will announce who will lead the game for the next four years.

While Beaumont, 68, is the narrow favourite to be re-elected, former Argentina skipper Pichot has run a dynamic campaign as he vows to shake up the establishment.

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