Pacific Rugby Player Welfare have published a report expressing concern that an alleged bribe was made during May's World Rugby chair and vice-chair elections, encouraging the Fijian Rugby Union to back the ticket of Bill Beaumont and Bernard Laporte. PRPW suggests the election was "deliberately manipulated" and "has the potential to bring the game into disrepute".
The report discusses claims by the French publication L'Equipe, made back in May, that the former Fiji Rugby Union chairman Francis Kean allegedly struck a deal to back the ticket of Beaumont and Laporte, in exchange for France hosting a Test against Fiji each year.
The deal also allegedly included as well as training camps for Fiji and Fiji under-20 at France's base, the Marcoussis National Centre of Rugby.
Kean was stood down from the World Rugby Council in April after it emerged he had been previously charged with manslaughter.
World Rugby responded to the claims on Wednesday by saying: "World Rugby strongly refutes unsubstantiated claims regarding an election process between two excellent leadership candidates in a fair and appropriate manner. A key pillar of Sir Bill Beaumont's re-election campaign announcement in January, the governance review was initiated immediately upon his election, is independently-led by Sir Hugh Robertson and will examine an appropriate fit and proper person's test for elected officials."
The 59-page 'Veilomani' report was submitted by PRPW to Sir Hugh Robertson KCMG PC DL, Chairman of the British Olympic Association, who is currently conducting a wide-ranging view set up by World Rugby in January.
The document criticises World Rugby's governance, claiming that PRPW sent three letters to World Rugby evidence allegedly against Kean without receiving a reply.
PRPW's report also includes 32 requests, including for a disciplinary officer to be appointed to investigate the bribery allegations and for World Rugby to do more to constructively resolve the governance issues in the Pacific Islands.
Those issues include the alleged conduct of Fe’ao Vunipola, father of England internationals Mako and Billy Vunipola, for allegedly manipulating last year's election of a new Tongan Rugby Union president in his role as TRU chief executive officer.
World Rugby's executive committee meanwhile have recommended a revised temporary 2020 international calendar for later this year that could see Test matches take place between October 24 and December 5 in the northern hemisphere.
The window would allow postponed matches from the 2020 men's and women's Six Nations to be completed over the weekends around October 24 and October 31, prior to a rest weekend on November 7.
A proposed international tournament involving the Six Nations sides plus Japan and Fiji can then take place from the weekend around November 14 onwards, with the final scheduled for December 5.
World Rugby have also recommended that the Rugby Championship in the southern hemisphere be played in a single country, likely to be New Zealand, between November 7 and December 12.
The proposed schedule is subject to approval at the next World Rugby Council Meeting, held virtually on July 30.
The Welsh Rugby Union have confirmed that Wales will not play any more Test matches in front of crowds in Cardiff in 2020.
Telegraph Sport reported on July 12 that the WRU are in advanced negotiations for Wales to play four Tests at Twickenham later this year, including their postponed Six Nations fixture against Scotland.
While Wales could play matches behind closed doors in Cardiff, WRU chief executive Martyn Philips added that any matches with crowds, which would provide the WRU with much-needed revenue, "are likely to be in and around London".
Twickenham is expected to hold 40,000 fans during the autumn following the relaxation of social distancing measures to one metre in England, whereas in Wales the rule remains two metres.
"The most difficult scenario will be if games are allowed with crowds in England but not in Wales," Phillips added. "There are clearly a range of risks here, not least Welsh fans leaving Wales to attend a game and then returning. We very much hope that by the autumn, restrictions whatever they be in relation to sports events, are aligned across the UK."
The WRU are also aiming to "hopefully" be back hosting matches during the 2021 Six Nations in front of crowds in Cardiff.