RFU vote on transgender women in rugby union a ‘massive step backwards’ | Rugby Union News


There are calls for the Rugby Football Union to think more deeply about plans to ban trans women from playing rugby in England; The RFU council will vote on Friday on whether it is safe for trans women to participate in the game; It follows a review of its women’s participation policy

Last update: 07/28/22 2:03 p.m.

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Transgender rugby player Alix Fitzgerald says she is sad that she may have been banned from rugby following the RFU Council’s vote on the issue.

Transgender rugby player Alix Fitzgerald says she is sad that she may have been banned from rugby following the RFU Council’s vote on the issue.

Each season, Alix fills her diary with the prize list of her rugby club. This summer, however, she says she dares not write them.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) council will vote on Friday on whether to introduce new rules on gender participation.

If approved, it would mean only women assigned at birth will be allowed to play rugby alongside other women.

Transgender women like Alix will effectively be banned from sport in England.

“I’ll be honest with you. If I thought for a moment that I was a danger to the people in front of me or the people I play with, I wouldn’t do that. I have no desire to hurt anyone. , accidentally or not,” she says. sky sports.

Safety and fairness are at the heart of this debate.

The RFU says “the inclusion of trans people designated as male at birth in women’s rugby cannot be weighed against considerations of safety and fairness”.

East London Vixens

East London Vixens

After a two-year consultation, the sport’s governing body has recommended that until new scientific data becomes available, it is best to take a precautionary approach.

Alix, who is 54, plays for the East London Vixens. She is one of seven transgender women in England who have been cleared to play rugby by the sport’s governing body.

“I’m not the tallest person on this team, I’m not the strongest person on this team. That argument is very dangerous for rugby to fall, just because, who’s tall enough? And who’s too big ?

“There are people in this team who are bigger than me, so if I’m too big, are they too big? And it’s not fair because rugby is a game for all shapes and sizes. sizes.”

Current regulations mean that transgender women who want to play rugby in England are assessed on a case-by-case basis. While this avoids a blanket ban, the RFU says it is not without difficulties and does not necessarily guarantee inclusion.

East London Vixens VP Kat Salthouse urges RFU to step back and do more research

East London Vixens VP Kat Salthouse urges RFU to step back and do more research

Kat Salthouse is the Vice-Chairman of East London Rugby Club. She stars alongside Alix and describes Friday’s vote as a “huge step backwards”.

“In my four years playing alongside Alix, I have never had any safety concerns. Alix is ​​no more a risk to me, my teammates or our opponent than we are to ourselves- even while practicing a contact sport.

“We are now in a society where we need to be more open and accepting of the people around us.”

Kat describes move as a ‘kick in the teeth’ and urges RFU to step back; to see who is affected by this policy change and to do more research.

The governing body says this is a tough decision and was not taken lightly or without research or consultation, saying “the benefits in terms of strength, endurance and physique brought about by male puberty are significant and retained even after testosterone suppression”.

If the RFU Council votes in favor of the changes, they will be introduced before the 2022/23 season.




Sky Sports

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