MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 17: A general view is seen during the round two NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Wests Tigers at AAMI Park on March 17, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

A number of clubs are reportedly pushing for the right to sack players who choose to not get the Covid vaccination as the NRL and players association finalise plans for the league's vaccination policy.

As reported by the Courier Mail, players who haven't had the jab by the return on pre-season may be forced to train away from players who are fully vaccinated.

The report goes on to state that while the vaccination numbers across the NRL are solid, there are a small number of players refusing the vaccination, with clubs now pushing for the right to sack players who won't get vaccinated.

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The NRL won't be enforcing a vaccination mandate like many other sports have. With a more relaxed approach being taken.

NRL CEO Andrew Abdo has said that the league wanted to be a safe space when it restarts but that a mandate wasn't the best way to achieve that.

“In terms of answering the really hard question — what is our formal policy going to be for the new season? — the Commission has made this clear; we’re not taking an approach of making this mandatory, consistent with the way the federal and state governments are,” the league boss said.

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“It’s definitely not mandatory to be vaccinated. However, we need to make sure in continuing the competition that we’re creating a safe working environment."

It does seem unlikely clubs will be given the right to dismiss players who deny the jab considering the more toned down vaccination policy the league is implementing.

CEO of the Rugby League Players Association, Clint Newton said that giving clubs the right to terminate players who opted against the vaccine was a bridge too far in the battle to open the game safely.

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"With regards to some of the challenges that exist with contractual matters, we consider that the NRL should consider alternatives that allow a club to maintain a player’s employment,” Newton said.

“Our primary concern is where we have a situation where a club jumps to termination in situations where the public health orders are constantly changing.

“Let’s not leap to a situation where it is like we will make a decision on a player’s career based on whether or not they can fly interstate when that is not necessary at the moment.

“We have to make sure we don’t make a rash decision in a moment of time that potentially changes in a month or two, and creates unnecessary conflict, which then puts everyone in a difficult spot.”


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