Following a two year review starting in 2020, the RFU will vote on banning transgender women playing female ‘contact rugby’ next Friday.
The rugby football union has recommended the decision to ban transgender women due to safety and fairness concerns.
Until now, the RFU have maintained the stance that transgender women should be able to play in female competitions however will now fall in line with the view of world rugby.
Explaining their decision to recommend a ban, the RFU has said,
“(There is) evidence that there are physical differences between those people whose sex was assigned as male and those as female at birth, 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 vote will take place on the 29th July and if the recommendation goes through, the new guidelines and laws will be put into place for the 2022/2023 season.
The RFU has also announced that the body has contacted current transgender women who play rugby to offer support and options if the laws are passed.
Rugby is following other sports in discussing such laws as both Swimming and Triathlon have placed bans on transgender women competing in female events.
The news has caused a lot of debate on social media.
Thank you @RFU for putting the safety of your female athletes first. COUNCIL TO VOTE ON GENDER PARTICIPATION POLICY FOR RUGBY UNION IN ENGLAND https://t.co/ApRWc49bhF
— Sharron Davies MBE (@sharrond62) July 22, 2022
Rugby is for all shapes and sizes. There are countless examples in the game of what could be termed 'unfairness' yet we celebrate when David beats Goliath.
Using fairness as a stick with which to beat trans women players is ironically… unfair.
— Nick Heath (@nickheathsport) July 22, 2022