Irish Rugby bans transgender players from women's game
NEWS: Irish Rugby announced on Wednesday that transgender players will be barred from competing in women’s matches for the forthcoming campaign, falling in line with the latest guidelines from World Rugby.
From this season only players registered as female at birth will be allowed to play contact rugby in the women’s game.
According to World Rugby’s guidelines transgender women have been excluded from women’s rugby due to the “size, force- and power-producing advantages conferred by testosterone during puberty and adolescence, and the resultant player welfare risks this creates.”
Last month, both English Rugby Union and Rugby League banned transgender players on safety grounds.
“Recent peer reviewed research provides evidence that there are physical differences between those people whose sex was assigned as male and those as female at birth, and advantages in strength, stamina and physique brought about by male puberty are significant and retained even after testosterone suppression,” the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) said in a statement.
“The IRFU is keenly aware that this is a sensitive and challenging area for those involved and the wider LGBT+ community and will continue to work with those impacted, providing support to ensure their ongoing involvement with the game.”
The change of rules will affect just two registered players in Ireland, who the IRFU said they have contacted to offer alternative ways to remain active in the game such as non-contact forms of play, refereeing and coaching.