The RFU Council and RFL Board have endorsed a new policy that prohibits transgender athletes from participating in rugby union and rugby league codes; the new rule only allows athletes to compete in the female division of the sport.
With 33 votes in favor, 26 against, and 2 abstentions, the RFU Council decided to update its gender inclusion policy for rugby union in England as of the start of the 2022–23 season.
Players are now only allowed to compete in the female division of the sport “if the sex originally reported at birth is female,” according to the guideline amendment.
RFU policy change
Players in the female category are only permitted to play if the sex originally recorded at birth is female.
In the male category, players whose sex recorded at birth is female may play if they provide their written consent and a risk assessment is carried out.
RFU Council voted in favor of updating its gender participation policy for rugby in England, with 33 in favor, 26 against and two abstaining.
This follows a detailed review of its policy in Autumn 2020, a game-wide survey receiving over 11,000 responses.
The new policy is ‘prioritizing the safety of players’, with it saying ‘the inclusion of trans people originally recorded male at birth in female contact rugby cannot be balanced’.
RFU committed to working with World Rugby and UK Sports Councils to ensure further research is conducted and to review the policy on a regular basis.
RFL has approved a new policy that bans transgender players from competing in the sport – coming into effect from Monday.
The policy relates to all ‘contact’ rugby leagues from the U12 age group and above.RFL says non-contact rugby league remains mixed-gender and there is no gender-based eligibility.
RFL decision comes after ‘wide-ranging consultation with interested parties, Government, stakeholders, participants, and individuals.
The RFL Board has also approved a new gender participation policy to take effect from August which states that players in all ‘contact’ rugby leagues, from U12s and above, will “only be permitted to play in the gender category of the sex that was originally recorded at birth”.
The RFL said the new policy “reflects both the requirements of the Equality Act 2010, which defines rugby league as a ‘gender-affected activity’, and significant developments in this area over the last two years.”