The Irish Rugby Union announced on Wednesday that transgender players will no longer be allowed to participate in matches in the coming season, in accordance with the latest guidelines from World Rugby.
Only players registered as female at birth will be allowed to participate in matches.
Ireland notably recalled the decision of English rugby union and rugby league, which last month banned transgender players from taking part in women’s competitions, for security reasons.
“Transgender women have been excluded from women’s rugby due to the size, strength and power benefits conferred by testosterone during puberty and adolescence, and the player well-being risks that cause it. »
“Recent research has shown that there are physical differences between people whose sex was assigned as male or female at birth. The strength, endurance, and physique benefits of male puberty are significant and persist even after testosterone is removed.the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) said in a statement.
“IRFU is acutely aware that this is a sensitive and challenging area for those involved and the wider LGBT+ community and is committed to working with those affected, providing support to ensure their continued involvement in the Game. “
The rule change will only affect two players registered in Ireland, the IRFU said it has contacted them to offer alternative means, such as forms of non-contact play, refereeing and coaching.
“Ireland should not follow the UK’s lead in allowing fewer occasions in which trans women can safely exist. Ireland can and must do better.reacted Paula Fagan, director general of the LGBT movement in Ireland, asking the IRFU to “reconsider your decision”