Addin Fonua-Blake could be set to miss a string of games should he again refuse to get a flu shot.
The prop haas missed the last two games through suspension after his tirade at referee Grant Atkins in Manly’s last-gasp loss to Newcastle earlier this month.
The Tongan international’s reluctance to take the flu vaccine has raised issues as it is a condition of the Queensland government allowing the NRL to restart during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He now looks set to miss this weekend’s game against the Cowboys.
The Sea Eagles have held talks with Fonua-Blake in recent days, however as recently as Sunday, were privately insisting the issue is far from resolved.
Fonua-Blake has the support of his teammates should he opt not to get the shot, with captain Daly Cherry-Evans and the club behind their man.
“There’s an argument out there we play a team sport and he’s letting his team down. I don’t believe that,” Cherry-Evans said.
“He’s standing his ground as a person and for his beliefs. Whether anyone else thinks it’s right or wrong, it’s what he believes in. I feel like that’s a really big part about what we’re trying to build as a club, people being comfortable as themselves.
“I can guarantee you there will be no one more disappointed they’re not going next week than Addin. He really wants to be back playing with the boys and he understands what’s happened the last few weeks.
“He’ll be eager to get back and help us, but this weekend I’m assuming we’re losing him. That’s footy. We’ll move on and plan without him. When he’s back we’ll use him and if not we’ll try to keep winning.”
Te club will resume talks with Fonua-Blake on Monday in a bid to resolve the issue.