Trans women allowed to play women’s rugby as France rejects World Rugby ban
Trans women will be allowed to play on women’s rugby teams in France starting next season under a newly-adopted policy.
The French Rugby Federation (FFR) announced its new policy on trans participation in the sport on Monday (17 May), sending a clear message of inclusion to the country’s LGBT+ community.
In its announcement, the French Rugby Federation acknowledged that World Rugby – the global governing body for the sport – implemented a ban on trans women last year.
However, the World Rugby ban was only advisory, meaning individual countries’ governing bodies can put in place their own policies around transgender participation in sport.
In a statement, the French Rugby Federation said it is committed to the inclusion of trans people in rugby.
The group said its steering committee had voted unanimously in favour of allowing trans women to participate on women’s rugby teams following a recommendation from an equality commission.
Under new rules, trans women who have had gender-affirming surgeries and those who have received hormone treatment for at least 12 consecutive months will be allowed to play on women’s teams.
However, the rule will come with a number of conditions. Trans women must also have been legally recognised in their correct gender, and their testosterone levels must not exceed five nanomole/litre.
“Rugby is an inclusive, sharing sport, without distinction of sex, gender, origin or religion,” said FFR vice president Serge Simon.
“The FFR is against all forms of discrimination and works daily to ensure that everyone can exercise their free will in rugby without constraint.”
The news comes months after World Rugby announced a ban on trans women playing at an elite level following a months-long review process.