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Unvaccinated NRL Players Banned From Queensland And Victoria


The NRL has confirmed any athletes who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 will be banned from playing or training in Queensland and Victoria.

The confirmation comes after the Queensland Government announced new guidelines for sporting events and government-owned stadiums, meaning only double-vaccinated fans, staff and athletes will be allowed to access venues.

The Victorian Government also recently announced all staff involved with sporting events, including athletes, coaches and organisation staff, will be required to be fully vaccinated prior to the end of 2021.

The NRL has not, however, followed the lead of the AFL in mandating vaccinations for players and staff, meaning those clubs based in NSW or ACT may be permitted to train and play within the states.

NRL CEO, Andrew Abdo, confirmed the NRL’s acceptance of the new guidelines, also revealing the number of unvaccinated players was currently between 20 and 24, with more than 95% of the league completely vaccinated.

“Whilst we haven’t mandated vaccinations, we have been incredibly strong in educating and facilitating as many players as possible getting vaccinated,” Abdo said.

“And the players and clubs have responded, so we have a high vaccination rate.

“We will adapt to and adhere to the public health orders and obviously that will mean that the very, very small group of players that choose not to be vaccinated, will have to adhere to those public health orders.

“The public health order is you can’t enter the stadium unless you’ve been vaccinated, then those players won’t be able to train and play.

“We are also working on some pretty stringent protocols… those protocols are designed to keep everyone safe and to keep the competition running,” he said.

Discussing the risk of unvaccinated players being released from their clubs due to their vaccination status affecting availability in the competition, Abdo said: “We obviously don’t want to see players sacked.”

“We want to see everyone vaccinated and if they aren’t vaccinated, we want to see a way in which we can get them playing safely.

“I think it’s important that we adhere to the principle that clubs are autonomous and they run a business.

“We are allowing people the freedom of choice, which I think is important, but we are putting health at the forefront of our policy, which is we believe in vaccination, and we want everyone to get vaccinated.

“Obviously we are now going to have to deal with a very small group on how we deal with them in different jurisdictions and we’re up for that,” he said.

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