Liberal Senator for Tasmania Claire Chandler has congratulated World Rugby for adopting guidelines which ensure only females play women’s rugby at the elite and international level.

Senator Chandler is calling on Rugby Australia and Sport Australia to immediately adopt World Rugby’s guideline so community sport is also safe and fair for women.

“World Rugby is the first major international sporting body to look in detail at the science which clearly shows it is neither fair nor safe for female players to be forced to compete against biological males who identify as women,” Senator Chandler said.

“Women’s sport exists for the specific purpose of providing sporting competition for females to compete against other females on a level playing field. World Rugby has done the right thing in protecting this principle. Having identified a 20-30% greater risk of injury to women who are tackled by a trans player, they really had no other option.

“This decision however only further highlights the dangerous absurdity of Rugby Australia, Sport Australia, the AFL and other major sports in adopting the opposite position that ‘inclusiveness’ is more important than women’s safety.

“If it is not safe or fair for a professional female rugby player to have to play against biological males, then it isn’t safe or fair for Australian women playing at their local club either.

“The choice for Rugby Australia and Sport Australia is clear – either step in to prevent women being exposed to a huge increase in the risk of serious head and neck injuries, or admit that they have higher priorities than the safety of women in sport.”


World Rugby statement:

“As with many other sports, the physiological differences between males and females necessitate dedicated men’s and women’s contact rugby categories for safety and performance reasons. Given the best available evidence for the effects of testosterone reduction on these physical attributes for transgender women, it was concluded that safety and fairness cannot presently be assured for women competing against transwomen in contact rugby.”