As of next season, transgender women will be allowed to play women's rugby in France. Following a vote, the Fédération Française de Rugby (FFR) announced that its board voted unanimously in favour of allowing transgender women to compete in women's leagues across the country.
In order to compete, female transgender athletes must "certify that they have been on hormonal treatment for at least 12 months" and "must not exceed the testosterone threshold of 5 nanomole/litre".
FFR's announcement is a shake-up to the world of professional rugby. Last year, World Rugby made the statement that "safety and fairness cannot presently be assured for women competing against trans women in contact rugby." Despite this, national federations are allowed to install their own policies, allowing clubs to recruit transgender women.
"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."
In England, the RFU had a similar stance last year, saying that it "believes further scientific evidence is required alongside detailed consideration of less restrictive measures in relation to the eligibility of transgender players," and currently allows transgender women to play women's rugby at non-international levels. The RFU said that it was "committed to LGBTQ+ inclusion as well as safety and fairness across all levels of the game."
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