SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 03: Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman Peter V'landys and National Rugby League Acting Chief Executive Andrew Abdo arrive a NRL press conference at Rugby League Central on September 03, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

The NRL is reportedly down to less than ten players who remain as hold outs against the COVID-19 vaccination.

While John Asiata is the only player to have left the NRL so far over the need to be vaccinated against COVID-19, there are still a handful of players who are holding out.

Nelson Asofa-Solomona, who is yet to begin pre-season training with the Melbourne Storm in an official capacity due to his stance on the vaccination, has been the highest profile case.

Despite his hold out, Melbourne CEO Justin Rodski told SEN yesterday that the club were hopeful the star prop would be able to play this season.

It's understood Jason Taumalolo is still unvaccinated as well, while other names on the list have become unclear as weeks have passed, with New South Wales allowing unvaccinated members of society to have the same freedoms as vaccinated from mid-December, meaning players could return to training.

The Rugby League Players Association drafted framework last year wich would allow clubs to give players a notice to be vaccinated, with docked pay to follow before the club would eventually have the option to terminate contracts. That was created given restrictions on unvaccinated persons in Victoria and Queensland, as well as the likely inability to travel between states, meaning players could miss training and games.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 28: Nelson Asofa-Solomona of the Storm is sent to the sin-bin during the NRL Preliminary Final match between the Sydney Roosters and the Melbourne Storm at the Sydney Cricket Ground on September 28, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

That framework followed the NRL's decision not to mandate vaccines for players and staff as the AFL had done.

RLPA president Clint Newton told SEN Radio that the game is down to single figures of players who aren't vaccinated, while also helping no other players would follow Asiata out of the competition.

"The positive thing for the whole game is we're in single figures (of unvaccinated players)," Newton told SEN 1170 on Thursday.

"I think one of the key things here is that without a mandate, 99 per cent of players have got vaccinated.

"Those players that remain unvaccinated, there's a framework for clubs to work through and players are aware of that and their agents.

"It's going to largely depend on state government regulations and also stadia restrictions that are in place. We're hopeful that players will work through that.

"We're still optimistic about ensuring that we don't see any other players exit the NRL.

"We certainly think that will be a real shame for everyone given the fact that I think we can get through it."

COVID has disrupted pre-season training for most teams in one way or another, with some having to postpone or cancel training sessions due to outbreaks and a lack of numbers.