Asofa-Solomona has been unable to train with the Melbourne Storm since the club went back for pre-season, owing to his stance on vaccination for the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Under Victorian government rules, unvaccinated individuals are unable to enjoy the same freedoms afforded to those who are vaccinated, and that includes being able to train or play matches in stadiums.
While the AFL - who house more than half of the competition's teams in Victoria - mandated vaccination against COVID-19 for all players and staff, the NRL, who house most of their teams in New South Wales, refused to make the same decision.
Despite that, more than 98 per cent of players are now vaccinated with only a handful of hold outs. NRL clubs are also reportedly free to dock pay and eventually terminate players who refuse to become vaccinated, given they will face restrictions and the inability to play interstate games given travel requirements.
According to Fox Sports though, the Storm are set to have the somewhat tricky decision taken out of their hands at the end of 2022, with Asofa-Solomona reportedly set to sign on with the Panasonic Wild Knights in Japan, coached by former Wallabies boss Robbie Deans.
Given 2023 is the touted time of Asofa-Solomona's arrival according to the report, it's still unclear exactly how he will proceed with the Melbourne Storm during 2022.
According to the report, Japan has relaxed all restrictions against unvaccinated individuals, meaning Asofa-Solomona would be free to sign a contract in the country.
It's understood Rugby Australia are also keeping a close eye on the situation, although his vaccination stance would likely stop them from making an offer for the time being.
‘It’s not mandated here. We just have really strict protocols in place,” one Wallaby told the publication, who is currently playing in the League One competition.
Asofa-Solomona isn't a stranger to rugby union, having played as a teenager in New Zealand before being signed by the Melbourne Storm as a 15-year-old.