The French federation issued a statement indicating that its executive council had voted unanimously in favor of the proposal of its anti-discrimination and equal treatment commission.
In October last year, World Rugby recommended that transgender women refrain from playing in elite or international women’s teams for safety reasons, becoming one of the first major world sports to do so. But the directives of the governing body were only recommendations and do not bind the national unions in their national competitions.
“Rugby is an inclusive sport, shared, without distinction of sex, gender, origin or religion,” said Serge Simon, vice-president of the French rugby federation. “It is important to allow all our members to practice their passion while respecting everyone’s rights.
Two years before the World Cup in France, the French federation declared that the vote sends a “benevolent and resolute signal that respect for minorities is an irrefutable right in our sport”.
As part of the new recommendations, the French federation said transgender people “physically reassigned and recognized in their current sex” can participate in all of its official competitions. People in transition to their new gender identity must provide proof that their marital status has changed.
Transgender people who switch from male to female must also demonstrate that they have been on hormone therapy for at least 12 months.