AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 02: Joshua Papalii of the Raiders pushes away from Isaiah Papali’i of the Warriors as breaks away to score a try during the round 20 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Canberra Raiders at Mt Smart Stadium on August 02, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

The Canberra Raiders are set to receive an enormous shot to the arm, so to speak, with Josh Papalii reportedly telling the club he will be fully vaccinated before the 2022 NRL season kicks off.

The Raiders are one club who have been struggling on the vaccination front, reportedly having as many as four players hesitating on getting the jab against the coronavirus global pandemic.

The NRL are still refusing to mandate vaccinations, although Rugby League Players Association proposed policy suggests players will be first docked pay, and then have their contracts terminated if they refuse the vaccine.

Players will be unable to play or train in Queensland or Victoria under current restrictions, while New South Wales are set to lift restrictions against unvaccinated individuals from December 15, or when a 95 per cent double dose rate is achieved, whichever arrives first.

With clubs understandably concerned regarding the ability of players to play all games, the push for players to be vaccinated is on.

John Asiata of the Canterbury Bulldogs is reportedly set to be the first player released from their club for a vaccine refusal, while Nelson Asofa-Solomona's case against being vaccinated has made headlines.

Papalii was set to be in that group, however, it has been reported he will be vaccinated.

The Canberra Times report Papalii has confirmed to club officials he will be vaccinated, which will be a major boost not just for the Raiders - who are looking to rebound into the top eight during 2022 - but also to Queensland State of Origin officials and new coach Billy Slater.

The 29-year-old is one of the best props in the game and a walk up starter for the Queensland side.

It's understood his decision will leave the Raiders with just two unvaccinated players.


  1. Wow how magnanimous of Papali. Article makes it sounds like his is a champ rather than a chump. Gutless Abdo and Vlandys should be punted, the NRL is weak as dishwater.

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