• Jason Regan

NRL refuses to mandate COVID-19 jabs

NRL CEO Andrew Abdo has said players will not be mandated to have a COVID-19 vaccine and warned unvaccinated players would be subject to stringent protocols.


On the same day the AFL mandated its players to be vaccinated by mid-February, Abdo took a slightly different approach.


NRL CEO Andrew Abdo says players will not be mandated to have a COVID-19 vaccine

The NRL has been grappling with mandatory vaccinations since the resumption of the 2020 season when several high-profile players including Bryce Cartwright, Josh Papalii and Joseph Tapine expressed reluctance to receive the flu shot.


Despite many businesses and rival codes mandating employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, Abdo said the NRL would leave it up to the players.

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

Abdo claimed some clubs had close to 90 percent of players and staff vaccinated with the governing body's own staff up to 98 percent.