NRL refuses to make Covid vaccine mandatory

Publish Date
Friday, 22 October 2021, 8:06AM
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Unvaccinated players in the NRL won't face the same consequences as seen in other sports after NRL CEO Andrew Abdo ruled out a vaccination policy.

Abdo confirmed the competition would not look to make the vaccine a requirement to play.

It comes after the AFL confirmed it would enforce the vaccine for AFL and AFLW players and club staff to become the first top-level sport in Australia to introduce a vaccine mandate.

"Clearly we need to make sure we have continuity to the competition, and we are creating a safe working environment," Abdo told Channel 7.

"We are busy working on the protocols for the players who are vaccinated and the players that are not vaccinated. Hopefully, we are talking about a very small group of players (not vaccinated).

"They will have, I'd imagine, some pretty rigorous requirements around what they will be able to do in order to train and play."

As States such as Victoria, however, enforce the vaccine on all professional athletes, Abdo admitted health orders may overrule.

"Of course this might be taken out of our hands by health orders or by airlines, so there will be repercussions for those that don't choose to be vaccinated but it's not our approach as a governing body to mandate it.

"Between now and the end of the off-season we will have a very clear set of guidelines for how the clubs and players can get back to training safely for those who are vaccinated and those who aren't yet vaccinated."

Some clubs reportedly have around 90 per cent of players and staff vaccinated with the governing body's own staff up to 98 per cent.

This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission