Bill Beaumont won the right to be reinstated as World Rugby chairman earlier this week, defeating Agustin Pichot 28-23. Liam Napier runs the rule over the winners and losers from the much-debated global vote.
England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Italy, France
Who else but the Six Nations? The Northern Hemisphere's old boys club is as strong as ever; their collective 18 vote bloc ensuring the elitist, self-serving status quo remains.
Beaumont's victory is captured in this statement: had one Six Nations union sided with Pichot, the result would have reversed. More galling, though, is the revelation that only Wales bothered to hear Pichot's pitch.
No due diligence to be seen here.
It is telling, too, that Beaumont's first order of business tipped the hat to his fan club, stressing there are no plans to move the Six Nations from its February/March window.
Far more pressing issues persist – yet the Six Nations clearly takes precedent.
The ridiculous nature of World Rugby's archaic structure, which hands tier-one nations three votes each, is encapsulated by Italy who are ranked 14th in the world below Fiji, Georgia and Tonga.
Fiji and Georgia have one vote each; Tonga none.
Beaumont has pledged to revive the 12 team Nations Championship concept which would involve Fiji and Japan joining the Rugby Championship and then playing off against the Six Nations in annual cross-hemisphere tests.
Just last year, though, this proposal was vetoed by the Six Nations due to fear of promotion-relegation with Ireland, Scotland and Italy among those to staunchly oppose the concept.
Why, then, will they feel any different now?
The bottom line: it's hard to believe the Six Nations will make any genuine concessions with former England captain Beaumont and French rugby president Bernard Laporte, the new vice-chairman, in charge.
Just ask Georgia about the Six Nations' long-held closed door policy.
Sanzaar – New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Argentina
Frustrations will long linger for Agustin Pichot's supporters – the Sanzaar alliance representing the most vocal of the clear divide.
So near, so far. Four more years of fighting for equality awaits.
Compared to tier-two unions, however, the Sanzaar collective should be reasonably well looked after – provided they make it through the current financial crisis and the Nations Championship eventually gets off the ground.
When presented last year the concept was backed by the promise of $6.6 billion of private investment over its first 12 years.
Still, when it comes to issues such as revenue-sharing, rule changes, private investment, eligibility, funding and forging a global calendar, the Southern Hemisphere face the same stale, biased regime.
Redundancies expected at New Zealand Rugby also highlight the immediate short-term challenges facing the south.
Strike action may be the only way to force real change.
Fiji: Inclusion among tier-one nations will seemingly come, and is well overdue, but unless Laporte has convinced France to fund Fiji long term, a vote for Beaumont is unlikely to change the key sustainability issue of much fairer revenue-sharing agreements.
England's sellout matches at Twickenham gross in excess of £14 million (NZD $29m). As it stands, the RFU is under no obligation to share those takings with visiting teams – a system that has long angered southern nations who instead rely on much smaller July gating takings and British and Irish Lions tours once every 12 years to bail out balance sheets.
Fiji will, of course, never host a Lions tour. Having now voted for the status quo, they have no right to gripe about revenue-sharing disparities.
Japan: Despite seeking inclusion in the Rugby Championship, Japan gave their two votes to Beaumont. It has since emerged they, too, were swayed by the promise of tier-one status.
Japan does not face the same financial worries as Fiji but, nonetheless, the added funding will be a boon. They will, however, have bridges to mend with the south and their Asian neighbours, all of whom favoured Pichot.
Samoa: Best categorised as short term gain for further long term pain.
Samoa, like Fiji, jumped at Beaumont's pledge to amend regulation eight of the eligibility laws which blocks players such as Charles Piutau, Steven Luatua and Seta Tamanivalu from representing their Pacific Island heritage after being captured by tier-one nations.
Beaumont can't deliver on that promise alone, though. World Rugby needs a two-third majority vote from its council to approve the change. The Six Nations have long opposed this move, and there are no guarantees that will change now.
Otherwise, Samoa gains little from Beaumont. No revenue-sharing improvement; no more exposure to tier-one nations, no more voting influence. Their vote was, therefore, incredibly short-sighted.
Rugby Africa: Represented by France-based Khaled Babbou, who has gained a seat on World Rugby's executive board, it seems he put personal interests ahead of the nations he is supposed to fight for. The 52 countries (40 unions) Babbou represents surely stood to gain more from Pichot than Beaumont's continuation.
Tonga: No vote and, therefore, little influence to push for change.
Georgia: Voted for Pichot in the hope of opening up promotion and relegation into the Six Nations.
Germany: Not consulted in Rugby Europe's two votes going to Beaumont - yet another stain on World Rugby's governance problems.
Romania, Uruguay, Asia, Oceania, USA, South America: All voted for Pichot to evoke immediate change.