Rugby Europe is deeply saddened by the passing of Bernard Lapasset, a prominent figure and leader in French sport over several decades.
Bernard Lapasset devoted his life to rugby, both as a player, coach, manager and as an ambassador. He contributed to the development and promotion of rugby, not only in France but around the world during his mandates with FFR and World Rugby.
We join the rugby world in sending our deepest condolences to his family, loved ones and to all those affected by this loss.
As president of World Rugby, Bernard Lapasset played a major role in rugby's transition to professionalism in 1995, a pivotal moment that allowed rugby to shift into the modern-era.
He played a key role in bringing rugby sevens to the Olympics, an event that helped to make rugby more mainstream in new countries and helped bring the game to so many new audiences.
President of Rugby Europe, Octavian Morariu, said,“ This is a very sad day for rugby with the death of Bernard Lapasset. He dedicated his all life to our sport.
He was one of the key individuals who battled for the expansion of rugby in Europe and beyond. During his administrative career at the FFR and at the IRB/World Rugby he pushed for the unity of rugby throughout Europe and succeeded in ensuring that of Rugby 7s would be included in the Olympics. We express our sincere condolences to his family and his loved ones.”