World Rugby chiefs are planning a comprehensive review of the sport's policies relating to transgender players.

Moves will begin with a ground-breaking forum next week, bringing together independent experts and leaders in the fields of sports science, biology, medicine, ethics and law, as well as rugby administration, medical and playing representatives.

World Rugby is consulting with expert voices and the global women's game ahead of the London summit.

World Rugby's current policy follows that of the the International Olympic Committee.

But with latest research suggesting that a reduction of testosterone does not lead to a proportionate reduction in strength and power, World Rugby says it is important for contact sports such as rugby "to find an appropriate position for player welfare and risk."

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: "There is growing recognition of the importance of autonomy of gender identity in society, and all sports are currently evaluating their policies to ensure that they are fit-for-purpose in the modern sporting and societal landscape.

"Rugby is no different, and this forum makes it possible to explore the best available evidence and hear the relevant expert opinions."

World Rugby will also ask elite players for their views via a questionnaire in order to gain a representative view from the game's top levels.

Beaumont (pictured above) added: "World Rugby's vision is 'a sport for all, true to its values' and we are committed to exploring the evidence from experts in the field of biology and medicine, together with insights provided by leading legal, ethical and social minds, to determine whether the current guidelines are appropriate for all participants.

"Importantly, we are undertaking an extensive consultation process that includes obtaining the perspectives of players who will be directly affected by this policy in both elite and community rugby. This is important in achieving transparency and buy-in."

And World Rugby's chief medical officer Eanna Falvey said: "Sports organisations and the medical community alike appreciate that this is a complex area to negotiate.

"It is especially complex in a contact sport where size, strength and power can be influential.

"By bringing together the world's leading experts for the first time at our forum we will be able to consider all evidence, considerations and viewpoints as we move towards developing an updated policy that is proportional, appropriate and good for all."

Kelly Morgan is a transgender rugby trailblazer who has played for Porth Harlequins Ladies in Wales.

Born Nicholas Gareth Morgan, she played representative rugby as a teenager for east Wales, but only returned to playing following a battle with her gender identity and transitioning to female.

Under Welsh Rugby Union guidelines, Kelly can play rugby as long as her blood-measured testosterone levels meet a certain range, and she has taken the female hormone oestrogen on a daily basis.

"My body shape, my size... it's scary the massive difference it makes. I don't think I'll ever get used to hormones," she told the BBC in an interview last year.

"I do feel guilty, but what can you do? I don't go out to hurt anybody. I just want to play rugby."

She has catalogued her journey since returning to rugby on social media, and she added: "I'm always optimistic, and I think being open breaks the ice with people.

"I'm like, 'this is me, this is what I'm going through'.

"Times are changing. Hopefully, I will inspire more people to come and play rugby, or any sort of sport."