Gold Coast Titans prepare to restart season without Bryce Cartwright, Brian Kelly


Holbrook said the Titans could not afford to be distracted by the controversy and would “crack on” as they count down to the May 28 NRL restart.

“It could be resolved in a couple of days but it could be weeks or they may not play for the rest of the season,” Holbrook said.

“It would be great if this situation can be resolved quickly. If not we have to prepare to play a game in three weeks and we have enough players to fill those spots. It’s not ideal but we have to crack on without them and get on with it.”

Holbrook said he was among the majority who would get the shot but admitted the choice was not that simple for Cartwright and Kelly.

“I am one of the 98 per cent … of the community who would say just get the shot and come back to work,” he said.

“For those uncomfortable getting the shot, there is a bit more to it. It is a difficult one. Those two per cent, they have different views and different circumstances; it is not easy for those guys.”

Up to 20 players across the NRL have refused to be vaccinated for varying reasons.

A biosecurity document sent to players and governments last week by the NRL said all players must receive the vaccine, unless they sign a waiver to continue playing, but the Queensland government stood firm.

NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant reaffirmed on Monday her state would not adopt Queensland’s stance.

“It is really a matter for the NRL as a workplace employer to consider their occupational health and safety obligations,” Chant said.

But the NSW government has pushed for as many people as possible in the state to have the vaccination.

NRL players union board member and Cronulla captain Wade Graham has put pressure on his colleagues to accept the jab.

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Brisbane veteran Darius Boyd said on Monday players would have to abide by the protocols or accept the fact they couldn’t play.

“We all have to do our best to get the game up and running,” he said. “If you have different beliefs that’s fine but they are the rules.”

However, Canterbury’s Sione Katoa posted a passionate defence of his pro-choice stance. “We used to be very pro-vax and judged those who chose not to vaccinate,” he said on Instagram.

“Those judgements quickly passed as soon as vaccines caused health issues for our eldest son, Chase. After seeking advice from medical professionals and seeing the positive impact that it had on our son’s health, we made the informed decision to no longer vaccinate ourselves or our children.”

AAP

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