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The French Rugby Federation will allow transgender people to take part in all domestic competitions next season, despite the guidance against that from World Rugby.
Last October, the sport's global governing body stated that it "does not recommend" that transgender women should be allowed to play contact rugby when it comes to women's elite or international teams, for reasons of safety.
But this was a recommendation only and not binding when it comes to national unions and their domestic leagues.
Resisting World Rugby's advice, it's understood that the executive board of the French Rugby Federation unanimously voted in favour of the proposal to allow transgender players, which came via its Anti-Discrimination and Equal Treatment Commission.
"Rugby is an inclusive, sharing sport, without distinction of sex, gender, origin or religion," said Serge Simon, vice-president of the French federation.
"It is important to allow all our members to practise their passion while respecting everyone's rights."
As reported by the BBC, the French Rugby Federation said transgender women who are transitioning from male to female could play as long as they could certify they had been on hormonal treatment for at least 12 months prior to competition and their testosterone levels were under five nanamoles per litre.
Trans people wishing to compete also have to prove their identity through civil records prior to registration.
Transgender women allowed to play rugby in France after unanimous Federation votehttps://t.co/ixeZEPrLZA
- BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) May 17, 2021
The French Rugby Federation is making history by becoming one of the first national bodies that is allowing trans women to compete at the elite level of a professional team sport.
In March, early plans from England's Rugby Football Union stated that some transgender women would be risk-assessed before they could play the domestic game.
All imagery: PA Images
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