France allows transgender women to play women’s rugby

The move goes against guidance from World Rugby, which recommends that transgender women should not play in women’s elite or international teams, for safety reasons.

A rugby ball
France has ignored World Rugby’s guidance and will allow transgender women to play in all domestic competitions. File photo: W Rugby from Pexels

PRETORIA, May 19 (ANA) – The French Rugby Federation (FFR) has voted unanimously to allow transgender women to play women’s rugby as of next season despite the World Rugby recommendations against the move, CNN reported on Wednesday.

Last year World Rugby said it did not recommend that transgender women play women’s contact rugby, due to safety reasons, according to the US broadcaster.

However, the governing body’s advice was not binding and allowed national federations to implement their own grass-roots policy, CNN added.

Sky News said the French federation issued a statement saying its executive board unanimously voted in favour of the proposal from its Anti-Discrimination and Equal Treatment Commission.

“Rugby is an inclusive, sharing sport, without distinction of sex, gender, origin or religion,” said Serge Simon, the vice-president of the French Rugby Federation.

“It is important to allow all our members to practise their passion while respecting everyone’s rights.”

Independent UK reported that under the new recommendations, the French federation said that transgender people “physically reassigned and recognised in their current gender” can play in all its official competitions.

The requirements include that those changing into a new sexual identity must provide proof of their civil record being changed

Transgender people transitioning from male to female should also demonstrate that they have been undergoing hormonal treatment for at least 12 months and their testosterone level is under five nanamoles per litre, the UK publication said.

Meanwhile, the BBC reported that in March, draft plans from England’s Rugby Football Union stated some transgender women would be risk-assessed before they could play the domestic game.

– African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Yaron Blecher

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