Transgender women allowed to play rugby in France after unanimous Federation vote

Inside an empty Stade de France
World Rugby said in October it did not recommend that transgender women play contact rugby

Transgender women will be allowed to play rugby in France's domestic competitions next season after the French Rugby Federation board voted unanimously to go against guidelines from governing body World Rugby.

The sport's global governing body said in October it "does not recommend" transgender women play contact rugby.

In March, draft plans from England's Rugby Football Union stated some transgender women would be risk-assessed before they could play the domestic game.

The French Rugby Federation (FFR) said transgender women who are transitioning from male to female could playexternal-link as long as they could certify they had been on hormonal treatment for at least 12 months and their testosterone levels were under five nanamoles per litre.

Under current FFR regulations, people who have already undergone a gender transition and changed their civil record may play in the league that matches the gender on that record.

"Rugby is an inclusive, sharing sport, without distinction of sex, gender, origin or religion," FFR vice president Serge Simon said.

"The FFR is against all forms of discrimination and works daily to ensure that everyone can exercise their free will in rugby without constraint."

In 2020, World Rugby became the first international sports federation to say transgender women should not compete at elite and international level in the women's game.

Previously, the governing body had followed International Olympic Committee policy requiring transgender women to suppress testosterone levels for at least 12 months before competition.

However, World Rugby allowed national unions to be flexible in how they apply guidelines and recommendations.

The FFR is the first national federation in France to allow transgender women to take part in elite sport.

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