Cronulla Sharks skipper Wade Graham calls out NRL stars who refuse flu shot


“If it was a pure personal preference, I’d say it’s a team sport boys,” he said.

“It’s not an individual sport and you need to do things sometimes that are not in your comfort zone, or that are not in your best interests, for the greater good of the team. That’s what great teams are built on.

“I think in this situation, you have to not think about your own personal situation and think about the rest of the playing group.”

On Friday, Gold Coast Titans confirmed Bryce Cartwright and Brian Kelly were both stood down for refusing the vaccination.

Fellow Titan Nathan Peats and Manly’s Marty Taupau both hesitated to get the shot due to past adverse reactions, but eventually had the injection.

As of Saturday afternoon, the Titans were still awaiting confirmation from Cartwright and Kelly over whether they would agree to be immunised and resume training.

It’s understood Dylan Walker, Addin Fonua-Blake, Josh Papalii, Joseph Tapine, Iosia Soliola and Canterbury’s Sione Katoa all signed a waiver to remain compliant under the NRL’s guidelines and continue training.

It has sparked confusion over how different states and territories will enforce the NRL’s return to training protocols, and casts doubt over whether un-immunised players will be allowed to play in Queensland.

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Graham, who sits on the RLPA’s board of directors, said the confusion was always a risk as the game rushed to resume training.

He believes players and clubs could have sacrificed another week of training as a team to ensure loose ends in the biosecurity guidelines were tied up.

Should the NRL decide to bow to government pressure and enact a ‘no jab, no play’ policy, Graham said players would need to consider the strength of their convictions against their livelihoods.

“I know for me, if I don’t like a flu jab, if it puts my livelihood at risk preventing me from making some money to feed my family, I’m getting the flu jab,” he said.

“It’s simple in my eyes. It depends on how strong their convictions are on an individual level. If they want to sacrifice their rugby league game for their personal preference not to get a flu shot, that’s their prerogative.”

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