Suns, Lions AFL players told to obey Qld Government’s ‘no jab, no play’ stance

All Gold Coast and Brisbane AFL players have been ordered to receive the flu shot, as the Queensland Government stands firm on its ‘no jab, no play’ approach for professional athletes.

It follows the advice Queensland’s NRL teams were given last week that their players would need the flu vaccination to be allowed to play and train in the state.

Two Gold Coast Titans players, Bryce Cartwright and Brian Kelly, have refused to have the flu shot and the club has given them until tomorrow to drop their objection if they want to train and play with the team when the NRL season restarts.

The AFL has recommended players have the flu shot amid the COVID-19 pandemic, however the league said the vaccination was not compulsory.

But Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said AFL players who chose not to get the flu shot would be banned from training or playing in the state.

The Suns do not believe this will be an issue for the club, with chief executive Mark Evans saying their players had shown no opposition to the vaccination.

“We’ve been working very hard with the AFL to make sure that we comply with all of the directions of each jurisdiction,” he said.

“I think there might be a couple still to go. Some players that were in Victoria that have returned here missed that initial time frame but that should be done by the end of [Wednesday].”

Suns captain David Swallow previously said players should be allowed a choice in deciding whether or not to have the shot.

The Lions confirmed its entire playing list, barring Irishman James Madden, will have received the flu shot by Thursday.

Madden spent time back in Ireland during the Covid-19 restrictions and the club is arranging his return to Australia.

The Titans announced on Tuesday evening they had made formal requests to Cartwright and Kelly to obtain up-to-date flu vaccines and, if needed, pneumococcal vaccinations.

“Doing so will enable each player to meet the requirements of the Queensland State Government’s protocols allowing Queensland-based NRL clubs to train and play,” the club said in a statement.

“In turn, this will allow both players to resume training and to play with the Titans when the NRL premiership resumes on May 28.

“Both players have been asked to notify the club of their agreement with this direction by Thursday, May 14.”

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