Organisers of Birmingham Union Cup pledge that the tournament will be used as a platform to campaign for trans inclusion in rugby and trans rights in society 

Graham Robson March 15, 2023

Organisers of the IGR Union Cup, which will see thousands of LGBTQ+ rugby players descend on Birmingham in April, have pledged that the tournament will be used as a platform to campaign for trans inclusion in rugby and trans rights in society.

This commitment comes at a time when progress on trans rights in the UK are being attacked by the UK Government. Only last year, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) in England banned trans women from the sport and put restrictions on trans men from playing rugby. Organisers of the Union Cup said: “It’s never been more important to stand up for the trans community which is exactly what the tournament will do.”

James Anthony, Chair of the Birmingham Union Cup Organising Committee, added: “Not only will we be flying the flag for trans inclusion, we will be emblazing the trans across our event, from our referees’ shirts, our participant wrist bands and all over our showcase pitch.”

The tournament will provide a platform for campaigning for a reversal of restrictions on trans players in England, and across Europe if the restrictions spread. The tournament will also be used to celebrate the positives of including trans people in sport and rugby in particular, as well as educating on how to make sport as inclusive as possible.

Emmett Peacock, a trans rugby player at the Union Cup, said: “The trans community is going through a difficult time at the moment, and as trans rugby players we feel let down by our governing bodies. That’s why it’s brilliant that the LGBTQ+ rugby community will be coming together in Birmingham with a clear message that we need to include trans players in our sport.”

Having been postponed in 2021 due to Covid, the Union Cup Birmingham 2023 will be the first time the European LGBTQ+ rugby community has come together in four years and will be an exciting and inclusive event.

Hosted by Birmingham Bulls RFC, the Union Cup will officially start with an opening ceremony at Birmingham’s Town Hall on Thursday, April 27. Match play will take place at BCU Moor Lane Pavilion from Friday, April 28 to Sunday, April 30 April. The closing ceremony and party will take place on the evening of Sunday, April 30.

For more info on the Union Cup Birmingham 2023, CLICK HERE