The sentences some players are crossing out on flu vaccination waiver form

  • Condition 1a: Players acknowledge and agree that there are increased health risks participating in training and playing in the NRL in circumstances where I have not been vaccinated for influenza”.
  • Condition 1b: Players acknowledge and agree that if I am not vaccinated for influenza my chances of getting sick with the flu are greater than they would be if I was vaccinated”.
  • Condition 1c: Players acknowledge and agree that if I am infected with influenza it can lower my immunity and make me more susceptible to other illnesses, including COVID-19
  • Condition 1d: Players acknowledge and agree that if I was to be infected with influenza and COVID-19 at the same time it is more likely that I will become very sick
  • Condition 1e: Players acknowledge and agree that I have read the “COVID-19 and the Flu – Information Sheet and Release” and understand the higher risks I am exposed to by refusing to be vaccinated for influenza.

The players haven’t had an issue with the second part of the waiver, which is the indemnity section that prevents them from taking legal action against the NRL, ARLC or their respective clubs should they become ill as a result of refusing the flu vaccination. It states:

“I agree that to the extent permitted by law that I will release and hold harmless my Club, the
ARLC, the NRL, their respective related bodies corporate, and any of their respective
servants, employees, contractors and officers, (the Released Parties) from and against any
liability arising out of any injury, loss, damage or death caused to me or any other person
arising from or in connection with my refusal to be vaccinated for influenza as part of my
participation in training and playing in the 2020 NRL season.”

Papalii, Soliola and Tapine were no-shows at Raiders headquarters on Wednesday morning, with club officials ordering the grand final trio to stay away from training as a result of the modification they made to the document they signed.

It is believed they are the same sentences Titans forward Bryce Cartwright crossed out when he signed the waiver that allowed him to return to Gold Coast training on Wednesday.

The Raiders, having learnt Cartwright was given permission to train with the modified waiver, wrote to the NRL on Wednesday night to notify the governing body that it would allow their three players to participate in training until the NRL determined its final position.

The NRL is considering allowing players not to take part in mandatory vaccinations for religious beliefs.

Home affairs minister Peter Dutton continued to apply government pressure on the NRL to enforce compulsory vaccinations, backing prime minister Scott Morrison’s call for a “no jab, no play” policy.

“I think that’s spot on,” Dutton said on 2GB radio on Thursday, adding the border force exemption given to the Warriors to enter the country was contingent on the health commitments the NRL vowed to undertake.

“The conditions were obvious and the commitments were made by the NRL before a decision was made to allow them to go ahead. We provided support, obviously, for the players to come from New Zealand, and we did that based on the health advice. And the health advice was based on the commitments given by the NRL. So I think it’s pretty clear cut.”

Josh Papalii and Sia Soliola are two of three Canberra Raiders players who refused to sign an unmodified vaccination waiver.Credit:NRL Imagery

Dutton doesn’t believe religious beliefs should be exempt.

“We shouldn’t give any credibility to people that preach what is a religion for some, for a small minority, because it’s dangerous,” Dutton said.

“There are lots of young people out there who look to these players as role models, as heroes in their lives, and they shouldn’t be hearing these messages. I think that’s an important part of the discussion as well.

“But the commitments have been made by the players, by the administrators, and they should be adhered to.”

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