World Rugby rules against trans players

Rachel Badham October 11, 2020

World Rugby, the global union for the sport, published a new series of guidelines on Friday 9 October preventing transgender women competing at the highest levels of the game on the basis it is a ‘safety risk’ to other players. Dr Araba Chintoh, who headed the review of the guidelines, stands by the decision, saying: “We set out to determine whether it would be possible to maintain inclusion in contact rugby based on the available research and evidence and rugby’s unique context of combining strength, power, speed and endurance in a physical, collision environment.”

They continued “as we progressed through a comprehensive and inclusive review, it became clear there are compelling evidenced safety considerations which we simply cannot ignore.” According to the BBC, World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont insisted the sport is still inclusive, and pointed out trans men are still allowed to play contact rugby.

LGBTQ+ organisation Stonewall has said it is ‘deeply disappointed’ with the union’s decision. Chief executive Nancy Kelley added: “The proposals were based on hypothetical data modelling that has little relevance to the questions of fairness and safety in rugby that the policy review sought to address.”