THE IRFU HAVE ANNOUNCED today that transgender players will no longer be allowed to compete in women's contact rugby after it amended its gender participation policy. 

Ireland's rugby football union stated that the ban was based medical and scientific evidence. A stance in line with World Rugby's.  

In a statement, the IRFU said: "Recent peer reviewed research provides evidence that there are physical differences between those people whose sex was assigned as male and those as female at birth, and advantages in strength, stamina and physique brought about by male puberty are significant and retained even after testosterone suppression. 

"The new policy, which is in line with that of World Rugby, the RFU and other governing bodies, will mean that contact rugby for players in the female category is limited to those whose sex was recorded as female at birth. 

"There are two registered players affected, in Ireland, by this change and the IRFU has discussed the matter directly with them including options to remain active in the game, such as non-contact playing formats (tag/touch rugby), refereeing, coaching, and volunteering, underlining that the IRFU values their on-going involvement in the game." 


In the male category, players whose sex is recorded at birth as female may continue to play if they provide written consent and players undergo risk assessment 

The IRFU have said they will work players and other groups in the LGBT+ community to explain that this change is based solely on new research related to safety 

Anne Marie Hughes, the IRFU's Spirit of Rugby manager, said: "This is a particularly sensitive area, and it is important that respect is shown to all members of our rugby family and the wider community. 

"We will continue to work to be as inclusive as we can be and to explore areas such as tag and touch rugby, which we know some of our players are already considering, refereeing, volunteering, and coaching. 

"We continue to stand with the LGBT+ community, and while we accept that today some may feel disappointed in this decision, we want to again underline to them – there is a place for everyone in rugby, and we can all work together." '