Agustin Pichot says his decision to contest the position of World Rugby leader without a vice-chairman symbolises his transparent, inclusive manifesto that seeks to shatter the game's global divisions.
Unlike incumbent World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont, who has linked with French rugby president Bernard Laporte as his deputy candidate, Pichot is instead running independently for this Sunday's vote.
Beaumont, the former England and Lions captain, and Laporte are viewed as a pairing that will favour the entrenched Northern Hemisphere rugby powers which, in turn, is expected to largely continue frustratingly slow progress and inherent self-serving protectionism.
Pichot, the World Rugby vice-chairman for the past four years, firstly explained why he and Beaumont went their separate ways.
"When Bill asked me to run with him I said 'we are not achieving things, and there are a lot of things that need to change'. When the Nations Championship didn't happen, I said I couldn't carry on," Pichot told the Herald from his home base in Buenos Aires.
"I didn't make the decision at the World Cup when Bill asked because I thought there was going to be a balance, or they were going to get an agreement between the north and south to run together, and I was probably naïve to think that would happen.
"When Bill announced he was running with Bernard, that fell down."
Pichot confirmed he has the backing of the Sanzaar partners - New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina - but revealed he rejected a proposal to adopt a vice-chairman from those Southern Hemisphere allies.
"We had an executive meeting with Sanzaar and they said 'Gus we want you to lead the change'. They offered me someone to be vice-chairman. I said 'no, let's be global and don't do the same as the others. Let's wait and see if there's another vice-chairman from the north and then we can pair up if that's the case'.
"This is a very clear symbol. I could have gone with someone from New Zealand, Australia or South Africa and it's a very strong position, but I thought it would be a division that would not help the day after you start.
"At least this way you start with a clean white piece of paper and you can construct what needs to happen."
In this regard, Pichot's intent aligns with his vision to establish a global game with equality at its core.
Several sources told the Herald that Laporte initially intended to run alongside Pichot, before switching ranks and aligning with Beaumont.
Had Pichot and Laporte linked, they would have portrayed the cross-hemisphere balance the former Pumas captain continues to seek.
"After Argentina finished third at the 2007 World Cup I could have gone the easy way to profit off my idol status, but I thought I had a responsibility to Argentinian rugby to gain respect worldwide and make it more equal.
"I have the same mindset now after trying to push from inside World Rugby and make a more equal landscape for the global game. That is the same when it comes to a global calendar, the women's game, listening to the players."
Pichot believes Bernard Lapasset, the World Rugby chairman from 2008 to 2016 who presided over rugby sevens' inclusion in the Olympic Games, was the last leader to achieve meaningful progress.
"That was the last change of a global interpretation for men and women, and I was part of it. Taking the World Cup to Japan was also Bernard's idea, not anyone else. He was the one that decided Japan.
"At least now we have manifestos for change - before there was nothing. The organisation and leadership needs to change to suit the modern game."
Before the Covid-19 pandemic took hold and international borders closed, Pichot managed to visit Romania, Canada and the United States to make his pitch for the chairman role.
Trips to Fiji and Samoa, where Pichot was due to meet the Prime Minister and be accompanied by New Zealand Rugby board member Sir Michael Jones, did not eventuate as shutdowns began last month.
Pichot single-handedly achieved Argentina's inclusion in Super Rugby and the Rugby Championship and now wants to help other nations join the established elite.
The 45-year-old hopes such a vision swings enough of the 11 undecided votes, from the 50 total, before Sunday's election.
"Today it's 50/50, but I will not promise anything I cannot deliver."
As with the controversial awarding of the 2023 World Cup to France – after a thorough process recommended South Africa as hosts – backroom deals are evident elsewhere, though.
In the hope of securing Samoa's vote in particular, Beaumont has pledged to "review" eligibility changes that would allow players with Pacific Island heritage, such as Charles Piutau, Steven Luatua and Seta Tamanivalu, to switch allegiance back to those nations after being captured by the likes of the All Blacks and England.
The realities of such a change would, however, require the Six Nations unions, who hold three executive votes each and have long blockaded the move, to suddenly switch their views.
"I cannot guarantee things I cannot produce," Pichot said. "I won't do that. It's interesting to see what each country needs and what they are going to gain but at the end of the day we will know after the four years whether those have been delivered."
Laporte has, meanwhile, backed Fiji's nomination for World Rugby's executive committee, Francis Kean, who was convicted of manslaughter after killing a man in 2007, and seconded Africa's nomination to the same committee, Khaled Babbou.
Pichot convinced Argentina to withdraw their bid to host the 2027 World Cup to help Australia secure that tournament, and he also backed Australia's nomination to the executive committee.
"I didn't offer anyone an executive position if I didn't think they were the right person to be there. Brett Robinson, for example, even without this vote I would support him because I think he is the best candidate to fill the position. That's how I operate, that's in my DNA."