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British Rugby Union to Vote on Transgender in Female Matches

British Rugby Union to Vote on Transgender in Female Matches

Italy vs. England at the Sergio Lanfranchi stadium in Parma, Italy, Nov. 1, 2020. (Massimiliano Carnabuci/ Dreamstime)

By    |   Friday, 22 July 2022 05:01 PM EDT

The organization governing Rugby in England announced Friday that it will hold a vote next week to determine if transgender women should be excluded from competition in its biological female matches.

“The [Rugby Football Union] RFU Council will vote on a recommendation for a policy change for contact rugby to only permit players in the female category whose sex recorded at birth was female.” the organization said in a press release Friday. “In the male category it is proposed that players whose sex recorded at birth is female may play if they provide their written consent and a risk assessment is carried out.”

According to the organization, the Rugby Football Union is the national governing body for rugby union in England.

It was founded in 1871 and was the sport's international governing body prior to the formation of what is now known as World Rugby in 1886.

The body said in the release that the vote will take place next Friday, July 29, and comes from a review of its current policy that started in the fall of 2020 and included a survey of 11,000 respondents, as well as scientific evaluations, and “guidance from other sporting bodies.”

“The review and consultation concluded that peer reviewed research provides evidence that there are physical differences between those people whose sex was assigned as male and those as female at birth," the organization said in the release, "and advantages in strength, stamina and physique brought about by male puberty are significant and retained even after testosterone suppression.”

“This science provides the basis of the recommendation that the inclusion of trans people assigned male at birth in female contact rugby cannot be balanced against considerations of safety and fairness.”

The organization said it was “a complex and difficult decision and the recommendation has not been made lightly or without thorough and full research and consultation.”

If agreed to, the recommendation will be introduced before the start of the 2022-23 season.

Current policy allows some transgender athletes to compete after a “case-by-case” review, but the new policy would make the RFU come in line with World Rugby, which already does not allow transgender women to compete with biological females, according to an article in the Daily Mail Friday.

“Transgender women may not currently play women's rugby … because of the size, force, and power-producing advantages conferred by testosterone during puberty and adolescence, and the resultant player welfare risks this creates,” the Mail reported the World Rugby policy saying.

World rugby, located in Dublin, Ireland, is the international federation of 500 million fans and 10 million players in 128 national member federations of the sport, according to that organization.

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The organization governing Rugby in England announced Friday that it will hold a vote next week to determine if transgender women should be excluded from competition in its biological female matches.
rugby, england, sports, transgender
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2022-01-22
Friday, 22 July 2022 05:01 PM
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