Was Transgender Caught Playing In Women’s Rugby League?!

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Was a transgender woman just caught playing in the women’s rugby league?! Take a look at the viral video, and find out what the facts really are!


Claim : Transgender Woman Played In Women’s Rugby League!

People are sharing a video on YouTube, TikTok, and X (formerly Twitter), claiming that it shows a transgender man playing in the women’s rugby league!

David Atherton : A trans woman shows why they have no place in women’s sport. This is a Rugby League match.

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That Was Not Transgender Woman Playing In Women’s Rugby League!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS circulating on YouTube, TikTok and X, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : Video Was From September 2022

Let me start by pointing out that the video isn’t new. It was recorded in September 2022, and shows the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII game against Papua New Guinea (source).

Fact #2 : Joanne Lagona Is Not Transgender

The player in the viral video clip that people are accusing of being a transgender woman is actually a Papua New Guinea woman named Joanne Lagona.

Joanne Lagona was a fullback in the Papua New Guinea Orchids women’s national rugby league team, who played in the 2012 Oceania Women’s Sevens Championship, the 2016 Oceania Rugby Women’s Championship, and the 2021 Women’s Rugby League World Cup.

That would not be possible if Joanne Lagona was a transgender woman, because transgender players are not allowed to participate in official women’s rugby matches.

Fact #3 : Joanne Lagona Also Plays Against Men

Joanne Lagona has been playing rugby since she was five years old, and is used to playing against the men. In fact, she plays against men, when there are no women’s competitions in Papua New Guinea.

I am not new to 7s rugby as I have been playing the game at a very young age. At times when there are no women competitions in PNG, I play in the men’s competition. I am used to tough and physical competition.

While she plays against the men, Joanne Lagona is a biological female. People making claims that she is a transgender woman who was born a man, have provided no evidence to back up their claims.

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Was Transgender Caught Playing In Women's Rugby League?!

Fact #4 : IRL Banned Transgender Players In Women’s Rugby

On 21 June 2022, the International Rugby League (IRL) announced that it does not permit transgender players from participating in women’s rugby league matches.

The IRL is continuing work to review and update rules about transgender participation in women’s international rugby league and will seek to use the upcoming World Cup to help develop a comprehensive inclusion policy.

Until further research is completed to enable the IRL to implement a formal transgender inclusion policy, male-to-female (transwomen) players are unable to play in sanctioned women’s international rugby league matches.

As such, it is impossible for any transgender man to play in women’s rugby matches, at least not in official matches, as shown in the viral video.

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.


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