The new headache of the NRL follows a minority of players refusing to accept vaccinations under new medical protocols.
The NSW government forwarded the final decision on unvaccinated players to the NRL, but today the Queensland state government firmly refused any exemptions for those who refuse the jab.
Queensland Director of Health Jeannette Young said players would be given exemptions for medical reasons – but not for ethical beliefs.
“If they have medical reasons for not being vaccinated (they will be given an exemption),” she said.
“If they’ve had an anaphylactic reaction to a previous flu shot or to any component of a flu shot, you don’t need to be vaccinated, so I provided that exemption.
“Although the NRL did not tell me this in their initial submission, I thought it was reasonable that NRL players and support staff, coaches and officials be given the same exemption as that that I grant to visitors entering care facilities for the elderly or for children. “
the Sydney Morning Herald says the Titans could potentially cancel the duo’s contracts if the standoff continues – and could seek compensation from the NRL.
Australian Kangaroos coach and Titans culture officer Mal Meninga has claimed the club are already at a disadvantage with just 30 players available as Cartwright and Kelly have not been able to train and will no longer be able to play.
“We don’t really know how it’s all going to play out, if we get compensation for these guys making these decisions, personal decisions that will put the team and the club at a disadvantage,” Meninga said. Fox Sports.
Reports say Cartwright will stand firm on his beliefs, but Meninga said Kelly has been interviewed by health experts and an Indigenous specialist to help her understand the benefits of vaccines.