The Rugby Football Union (RFU) council will decide on Friday on whether to implement new gender participation regulations.

If legalised, only individuals assigned female at birth will be able to play rugby with other women.

Transgender women like Alix will be effectively barred from participating in the sport in England.

“I’ll be honest with you. If I thought for one moment I was a danger to the people in front of me or the people I play with, I wouldn’t do this. I have no desire to hurt anybody at all, accidentally or not,” Alix tells Sky Sports.

Safety and fairness are at the heart of this debate.

The RFU says “the inclusion of trans people assigned male at birth in female contact rugby, cannot be balanced against considerations of safety and fairness.”

Following a two-year consultation, the sport’s governing body has recommended that, until new science is available, it is best to remain cautious.

Alix, 54, is a member of the East London Vixens. She is one of seven transgender women allowed to play rugby in England by the sport’s regulatory body.

“I am not the largest person on this team, I am not the strongest person on this team. That argument is a very dangerous one for rugby to go down, simply because, who’s big enough? And who’s too big?

“There are people on this team that are bigger than me, so if I’m too big, are they too big? And that’s just not right because rugby is a game for all shapes and sizes.”

Transgender women who want to play rugby in England are currently assessed on a case-by-case basis under current regulations. While this avoids a blanket prohibition, the RFU notes that it is not without challenges and does not guarantee inclusion.

East London Rugby Club’s vice-chairwoman is Kat Salthouse. She co-stars with Alix and calls Friday’s vote a “huge step backwards.”

“In my four years of playing alongside Alix, I’ve never had any safety concerns. Alix is no more of a risk to myself, my team-mates, or our opposition than we are to ourselves playing a contact sport.

“We’re in a society now where we need to be more open and accepting of the people around us.”

Kat sees the decision as a “kick in the teeth,” and she is pushing the RFU to take a step back, consider who is affected by the policy change, and conduct additional research.

According to the regulatory organisation, the decision was not reached lightly or without research and consultation, adding that “advantages in strength, stamina, and physique brought about by male puberty are significant and preserved even after testosterone suppression.”

If the RFU Council approves the amendments, they will go into effect before the 2022/23 season.