TRANSGENDER players have been blocked from competing in women’s rugby by English chiefs in both union and league.

Union and league bosses have amended regulations to permit only players born as female to compete in women’s matches.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) and the Rugby Football League (RFL) both issued statements on Friday confirming updated policies.

The moves bring to an end review processes dating back two years.

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The RFU Council voted in the changes but admitted the troubling background to the decision.

“Inclusion is at the heart of rugby values and we will continue to work with everyone to keep listening, learning and finding ways to demonstrate there is a place for everyone in our game,” said RFU president Jeff Blackett.

“We know that many will be disappointed by this decision, however, it has been based on all the scientific evidence available.”

The RFL’s board approved a new gender participation policy, to take effect from August and to be reviewed in November 2024.

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“The RFL has concluded a wide-ranging consultation with interested parties, Government, stakeholders, participants and individuals who continue to engage with us on this complex area,” read an RFL statement.

“We also greatly empathise with the personal journeys that individuals have experienced, in sport and in society, and we will continue to endeavour to work with all those actively involved to help us in developing our future policies, research and work in this area to ensure Rugby League remains inclusive for all.”