While rugby league’s governing body conducts additional research on its inclusion policy, transgender players have been barred from competing in women’s internationals.
“balance the individual’s right to participate… against perceived risk to other participants,” the International Rugby League (IRL) said.
The decision comes as a number of sports consider allowing transgender athletes to compete.
If a transgender swimmer has gone through male puberty, they are no longer allowed to compete in women’s elite races.
Lord Coe, the president of the World Athletics Federation, told the BBC that the sport is set to discuss adopting a new eligibility policy, and that “fairness is non-negotiable.”
The IRL said it had considered “relevant developments in world sport” in coming to its decision to ban “male-to-female (transwomen) players” until it had completed research on its final inclusion policy.
The ban will apply to teams from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Cook Islands, England, France, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea competing in the World Cup in England in October.
“It is the IRL’s responsibility to balance the individual’s right to participate – a long-standing principle of rugby league and at its heart from the day it was established – against perceived risk to other participants, and to ensure all are given a fair hearing,” the organisation said.
“The IRL will continue to work towards developing a set of criteria, based on best possible evidence, which fairly balance the individual’s right to play with the safety of all participants,” its statement added.
However the decision has drawn criticism from advocates of transgender rights.
“Blanket bans on women who are trans playing against other women risks violating international human rights principles of non-discrimination, which require such policies to start from a place of inclusion,” said Anna Brown, CEO of Equality Australia.