Weight and height checks could be added to the criteria for trans women to play contact rugby in England.

Potential regulation changes could mean that trans women who weigh more than 90kg and are taller than 170cm could face an assessment from a coach to see whether they pose a safety risk to other players.

According to the draft document published by England Rugby, players who measure over the limitations would need to be assessed to the "satisfaction of the panel" to be able to play contact rugby.

The weight and height regulations do not apply to transgender men or boys wanting to play contact rugby. Instead, players must make sure they are "aware of, understand and accept the associated risks of playing men's or boy's contact rugby".

In a video that accompanied the proposed changes, the RFU said it is "important to consider the individuals involved and the sense of community and acceptance that our transgender players tell us rugby provides for them" and that they "understand there are several misconceptions about transgender participants in rugby as well as in wider society".

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Under these new regulations, cisgender women would also be excluded. Currently 47% of forwards and 53% of backs playing for England's senior women's Red Roses squad would be classed as a safety risk if the new regulations would come into play.

Women from various sports around the world have taken to social media in droves to show their dismay at the new potential regulations.

The campaign "I am not a safety risk" depicts various women who surpass the weight and height cut off posting images in an effort to draw attention to the new rules.

Last year, World Rugby became the first global sporting body to issue a blanket ban on transgender women playing contact rugby.

In their document, World Rugby said: "It is known that biological males (whose puberty and development is influenced by androgens/testosterone) are stronger by 25% to 50%, are 30% more powerful, 40% heavier, and about 15% faster than biological females.

"As a result of this process and based on the available evidence, it was concluded that a balance between safety, fairness and inclusion could not be provided for transwomen playing women's contact rugby."

As it stands, the RFU's proposed guidelines would require a player over the weight/height limits to be assessed by a coach allocated by the RFU themselves.

According to the draft policy, a coach will conduct an assessment of the player in an "appropriate training environment" to review and identify whether or not the player has "a material performance advantage" over other participants.

A coach would also assess whether that safety risk to other participants is above the level presented by cisgender women players.

Chairman of Wales' first gay inclusive rugby team, Gareth Waters of the Cardiff Lions, told WalesOnline that the RFU have "not explored" all relevant options.

He said: "We stand in solidarity with the trans community in England. Without consultation with the trans community, the RFU have used very limited research and have not explored all options and considered the community in this potential judgement that could be devastating."

In Wales, women's rugby is especially popular at grass-roots level with people turning to the national sports as a means to socialise with friends.

Sophie Waugh, 23, who plays for Llandaff North as either flanker or hooker, said she wouldn't be phased playing against a transgender player.

Sophie Waugh (left) with one of her teammates

"I would not be worried in the slightest," she said.

"The lessons we've been taught in school is to treat everyone equal. We should never treat someone different because they have different features, personalities and physicality. We should never treat anyone differently. I wouldn't be worried playing someone who is trans.

"Rugby should be inclusive for all. This is a big issue, because it puts a stop for all abilities of [rugby]. You've got disability rugby, you've got teams encouraging women who wear hijabs to take part. We should be making it accessible for trans women too".

Rugby For All, the organisation that started one of the social media campaigns in response to the potential regulation changes, told WalesOnline they were "grateful" for athletes and allies around the world for speaking up.

"We are so grateful for folks around the world speaking up for trans athletes' inclusion in sport," they said.

"It's important we normalise this conversation and bust the myths, especially since there are so many misconceptions about trans athletes. Much of it can be chalked up to misrepresentation or a lack of representation in the media, a lack of relevant research and quite frankly, a fear or trans folk.

"We encourage RFU to rethink this policy and work closely with trans athletes, the people most affected, to come up with a solution that is fair and safe for everyone, including trans women."