RFU will not adopt World Rugby transgender guidelines

15 Oct 2020

By: Sport Industry Group

The RFU has said that it does not plan to adopt new World Rugby guidelines on transgender participation in the women’s game.

Following an extensive review, World Rugby announced its guidelines earlier this month, recommending that transgender women do not play women’s rugby at international level ‘on safety grounds’.

The global governing body, however, did state that it would not ‘preclude national unions from flexibility in their application of the guidelines at the domestic/community level of the game,’ and also confirmed that trans men are still permitted to participate in men’s contact rugby.

In a statement, the RFU said: "The RFU would like to thank World Rugby for the work it has undertaken on this complex subject which invokes many strong opinions.

"The RFU does not currently plan to adopt World Rugby transgender guidelines as it believes further scientific evidence is required alongside detailed consideration of less restrictive measures in relation to the eligibility of transgender players.

"We will assess the current evidence alongside safety concerns that have been raised. The RFU will also undertake further consultation with players in the women's game to understand their views.

"The RFU is committed to LGBTQ+ inclusion as well as safety and fairness across all levels of the game."