Manly trainer Don Singe will be fully vaccinated by the start of the 2022 season, averting a crisis that could have had major ramifications for last year's finalists.
Yahoo Sport Australia can reveal the veteran Sea Eagles high performance manager has booked in for his first Covid-19 vaccination and will have his second as soon as medically cleared to do so.
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It's understood a 'private medical process' compromised the trainer's ability to get the vaccination earlier and Singe and the club are now investigating whether that process can be expediated.
A source close to the Manly camp said the club was aware of Singe's non-vaccination status all along and was working with him to meet NRL protocols and requirements.
Singe's situation became public when The Daly Telegraph snapped photos of him working mask-less with Manly players during pre-season training this week.
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He is now on leave while the matter is resolved but will remain with the Sea Eagles next season, ensuring Des Hasler's side a smooth preparation into the 2022 season.
"Donny is not an anti-vaxxer. He's been following the NRL's Covid protocols and gets tested every second day," the source said.
"He is not required to wear a mask when coaching and yelling out instructions to the players in an outdoor setting.
"He can only access Manly-exclusive areas in the work area and wears a mask indoors when other people are present.
"He goes from home to work and back home again."
Asked Singe's stance on Covid vaccinations, the source said: "He doesn't really have a strong opinion either way. He's all about people being left alone to work things out for themselves – live and let live.
"He is fully aware of club policy with vaccinations and always intended to comply.
"The medical process he is undergoing can’t be sped up – nothing more, nothing less."
Don Singe a much-loved figure at Manly
Singe is coach Des Hasler's trusted right-hand man, working with him during Manly's successful premiership campaigns in 2008 and 2011 before following him to Canterbury.
Hasler brought the Kiwi-born trainer back to Brookvale upon his return to the Sea Eagles in 2019.
Singe is meticulous in his preparation and ruthless on players who fall below his strict fitness standards.
He is an integral part of the Manly set-up and any move to oust him would have been met with strong resistance from Hasler and the players.
Singe is expected back to pre-season training in coming weeks.
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