English Rugby to BAN trans players from women's games
The Rugby Football Union has recommended a ban on transgender women playing in women's matches.
The decision has come following a two-year review, and the change in policy could be introduced ahead of the 2022-23 season if approved by the RFU Council.
A statement read: 'The 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.
'This is a complex and difficult decision and the recommendation has not been made lightly or without thorough and full research and consultation.
'The RFU has contacted registered trans female players, on whom the policy will have a direct impact to offer its support in continuing to encourage them to participate in the sport.'
The policy beforehand had seen the English governing body allow some transgender women to play women's rugby on a case-by-case basis.
However, English rugby has now changed its mind, saying research provides evidence of 'physical differences' and 'advantages in strength, stamina and physique' due to male puberty.
They therefore said the decision came because 'the inclusion of trans people assigned male at birth in female contact rugby cannot be balanced against considerations of safety and fairness.'
The decision on transgender players sees the RFU align with World Rugby, who state: '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.'
Should the decision be approved professionally, rugby union would follow in the footsteps of triathlon, which became the first British sport to ban all transgender women from competing in female events at elite and grassroots level earlier this month.