Thursday’s Rugby News 4/8/22

Thursday’s Rugby News 4/8/22

Happy Thursday everyone, big week with the Rugby Championship coming up so plenty to discuss. Going to start off on a meaty subject and then go with some light and fluffy.

Transgender Sport Fairness v Inclusion – Opinion


Much has been made of the exclusion of transgender women in sport over the past few months, so I’ve done a little research. Firstly, I would like to acknowledge my personal bias. I always fall on the side of inclusion but I’ll try my best to show both points of view.

LGBTQI What does it mean

  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (or questioning), and intersex.

So as a straight white male I asked a good friend of mine who works in the space “I accept gay sexuality but why do they need all of the letters of the alphabet why can’t they just be gay?”. His response gave me pause for thought. He said if you’ve struggled with identity your entire life the fact that you now can put a label on yourself means you have a place where you belong, feel safe and not be “other”.

The Fairness Argument Against

Women’s sport is conducted to create a place where women can participate. Be it tennis, swimming or contact sports such as rugby men have certain physical advantages that are not negated by gender reassignment. Generally, men are 10 to 15% stronger and larger and even after gender reassignment some advantages are retained such as skeletal attributes.

Lia Thomas is a lighting rod for the argument on all sides, these links to articles from the New YorkerThe Guardian the ABC and will give a clearer understanding of her journey. Also listen to the following podcast the science of sport

The argument around fairness particularly for Lia is that her performance after her transition did not drop sufficiently and that she retained certain residual physical advantages of being male and that represented a unfair advantage. Basically she went from being a mid-level elite male athlete to a world class female athlete.

This argument is valid as other elite female athletes do not have the same advantage of going through male puberty. Although my question is would we be having this discussion if all transgender athletes were not very good, and we don’t have this conversation around trans male athletes.

The Inclusion Argument For

Sport can provide a safe space where people from all walks of life and be it social, economic, racial, or sexual orientation can exist and compete together on equal footing. These provide benefits both mental and physical giving people a place where they belong.

I would also recommend listening to this pod for the alternative view. Here

The numbers are quite small, a quick search said that there were approx. 8,000 registered players in England and of those approx. 7 identified as trans women. Sso that leaves the numbers who play as approx. 1 in 1,100 approximately. 

In a normal game of rugby there are different sizes and skills. Most teams, male or female, have players who are in a weight range of 50kg. For those who use the argument that people will transition to succeed in sport you ask yourself if you would do it.

I would also point out that rugby, as in many sports, promotes inclusivity in its marketing and if the stance changes it has a stench of gross hypocrisy. So, in my view let the girls play.

Please feel free to discuss.

REVEALED: 119-cap Italy legend was ‘never qualified’ to play for them

One of Italy’s best players of the modern era, who played in four World Cups over a 14 year international career, has admitted only his great-grandfather was Italian.

During his playing days you never quite knew what to expect from Martin Castrogiovanni, who won 119 Italy caps across 14 years before retiring in 2016. 

In an exclusive interview with Rugby Champagne, he revealed: ““Grandpa Castro was born in Argentina, his name was José María. The one who was Italian was my great-grandfather, Ángel, who was born in Sicily, in Franco Forte”.


How Italian, and shows how 20 years ago eligibility was a bit of a wild west.

Waratahs veteran Jed Holloway to make long-awaited Wallabies debut

Congratulations to Jed Holloway for his soon-to-be Wallaby debut this weekend, it’s great to see experienced players get the chance.

After missing the entire England series through injury, Waratahs forward Jed Holloway looks set to earn his Wallabies debut against Argentina. The 29 year old was tipped to win his maiden gold jumper against England in July, but an untimely injury saw him miss all three games of Australia’s series loss to Eddie Jones’s side. His selection in the No.6 jersey will give the Wallabies almost a third lock, and with it extra height and options in the lineout. Holloway’s well-known physical style will be useful to combat Los Pumas’ notorious abrasiveness.

Holloway is expected to pack down in the back row alongside captain Michael Hooper, and No.8 Rob Valetini. Hailing from northern NSW, Holloway made his Waratahs debut in 2013 under then coach, Michael Cheika , the man now in charge of this weekend’s opponent.

Personally, I would have given Harry Wilson another run as his season form merits it.

Tier structure to be axed as World Rugby appoint independent ethics officer

Rugby World Cup – William Web Ellis Trophy

I don’t like this idea as it will effectively put an end to 3 test tours. I would also point out that when an organisation appoints an ethics officer it usually means you are lacking in that department.

From Rugbypass

 World Rugby has recruited Neil Hallett as its first independent ethics officer, a role which will see him support its new integrity code. Part of the role will see Hallett oversee the axing of the tier system in global rugby, a structure which will be replaced by a merit-based system.

A former detective inspector with 35 years of experience with New Zealand’s police force, Hallett also has experience with three World Cups in various sports.

The article is an interesting read and contains quotes which ring of extreme corporate speak.

Hoss off the long run tomorrow and apologies as I may have stolen one of his pieces.


Like all things in rugby I am afirm believer that we all love the game just support different colours.

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