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15th March 2020

Science World Rugby considers ‘rugby-specific’ transgender rules

Science World Rugby considers ‘rugby-specific’ transgender rules

Science

World Rugby says it is considering “rugby-specific” eligibility rules for transgender players, differing from the International Olympic Committee policy.

Players transitioning from men to women are currently required to suppress their testosterone levels, in line with IOC limits, to play in women’s games.

But critics say unfair imbalances of strength and power remain.

World Rugby wants to explore a “rugby-specific framework, prioritising welfare, inclusion and fairness”.

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Kelly Morgan: Trans rugby player blazing a trail in Wales

Its chairman, Sir Bill Beaumont, added: “We are committed to delivering a fit-for-purpose policy in the modern sporting and societal landscape, balancing inclusivity, while promoting fairness and welfare.”

His statement follows a two-day workshop in London which brought together experts in performance, science, medicine, risk, law and ethics, former and current players and rugby officials to discuss the matter.

Their recommendations, including a call for more research into injury risk, ethical considerations and performance, will be taken on by a working group.

Kelly Morgan, who, as Nicholas Gareth Morgan played teenage representative rugby for East Wales, accepted that her pre-transition past gave her an advantage over team-mates as she played women’s rugby for Porth Harlequins Ladies.

“I do feel guilty, but what can you do?” she told BBC Sport Wales in August. “I don’t go out to hurt anybody. I just want to play rugby.”

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