Local NRL player on the outer after refusing flu shot
THE playing future of Ballina product Brian Kelly is in doubt after he was stood down by the Gold Coast Titans in the National Rugby League for refusing a flu injection.
The Titans made the decision when the Queensland Government enforced its stance on the 'No jab, no play' policy during the coronavirus pandemic.
It is believed the 23-year-old Kelly and lock Bryce Cartwright have not made contact with the club since they were stood down from training and playing on Friday.
Under the strict NRL Project Apollo Club Protocols, all players are required to receive compulsory vaccinations unless medically precluded.
"Nothing has changed with those two (since Friday) and we have to crack on without them," Titans coach Justin Holbrook told NRL.com today.
"It's not ideal - we have a game in three weeks and they might not be there.
"I have spoken to both of them and there is a bit more to it that they needed to look into.
"At first, all they had to do was sign a waiver (for not taking the shot) but that changed (from the Queensland Government).
"They may not play again this season. I don't know how this will end to be honest."
An NRL spokesman told The Northern Star that 98 per cent of the 800 players and staff returning to work had received the flu shot as of Monday.
"The NRL has developed stringent biosecurity protocols that adhere to higher standards than public health orders," the statement read.
"These protocols have been reaffirmed to clubs and players today, including the requirement of flu vaccinations.
"Any player who had concerns or questions were advised to speak to the chief medical officer from their club."
The Titans confirmed that players were given the proper assistance before being stood down.
"Both players have been given the necessary information, as well as welfare assistance, in relation to the matter to assist them moving forward," its club statement read.
"The club will continue to work with the National Rugby League on the matter."
Kelly won a first grade grand final final with Ballina in 2013 and has played 94 NRL games since making his debut at Manly in 2017.