Cork LGBT-friendly rugby club criticises IRFU decision on trans athletes

Earlier this week, the IRFU announced a change to its gender participation policy, meaning that contact rugby for players in the female category is now limited to those whose sex was recorded as female at birth.
Cork LGBT-friendly rugby club criticises IRFU decision on trans athletes

A Cork LGBT-inclusive rugby club, Cork Hellhounds RFC, has criticised a recent decision by the IRFU to prohibit transgender females from competing in contact female rugby. File image. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

A Cork LGBT-inclusive rugby club, Cork Hellhounds RFC, has criticised a recent decision by the IRFU to prohibit transgender females from competing in contact female rugby.

Earlier this week, the IRFU announced a change to its gender participation policy, meaning that contact rugby for players in the female category is now limited to those whose sex was recorded as female at birth.

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

Cork Hellhounds RFC said the club is “dismayed and disappointed” by the decision of the IRFU to ban trans women from playing contact rugby, and place stricter conditions on trans men from taking part in the sport.

“The safety and welfare of all players must always take priority on the pitch, but as a club, we fundamentally disagree to these changes which unfairly depict trans players as a threat to safety within rugby; with little regard for the effect of each trans player’s own transition,” the club said in a statement.

“We understand that this policy is subject to change next year, and therefore we strongly encourage our community and allies to advocate for trans inclusion in Irish rugby to be restored,” it continued.

The IRFU said the decision to ban transgender women from women’s contact rugby is “based on medical and scientific evidence and in line with World Rugby guidance”.

Anne Marie Hughes, spirit of rugby manager, said that the IRFU is “committed to inclusivity” and will “continue to stand with the LGBT+ community”.

“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,” she said.

The IRFU has said it is committed to ongoing review of the policy.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Echo 130Echo 130
EL_music

Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more