FORMER Ellesmere College pupil Bill Beaumont has applied to become the Rugby Football Union's new chairman.

Currently vice-chairman of the International Rugby Board, Beaumont learnt to play rugby while attending the school before signing for Fylde and becoming the figurehead of the England team after gaining his first cap in 1975.

The Old Ellesmerian took part in the 1977 British Lions tour of New Zealand, and captained England to their first Grand Slam in 23 years in 1980.

He also captained the British Lions on their tour to South Africa later that year before being forced to retire with 34 caps following a serious head injury two years later.

The iconic second row, who also earned 15 Barbarians appearances, became a household favourite by virtue of his team captaincy on A Question of Sport from 1982 until 1995.

Now Beaumont, who has been awarded an OBE and CBE, says he is excited about the prospect of being involved with the national side leading into the 2015 Rugby World Cup, to be staged in England.

Should he be successful in his bid to become chairman, his appointment could bring some much needed stability to the national side which found itself in the news for all the wrong reasons during last year's tournament in New Zealand.