'It's sad': Anti-vaxxer WAG slams NRL players over flu jab furore

Bryce Cartwright's wife Shanelle has accused players of letting her husband down. Pic: Instagram/Getty

Bryce Cartwright's wife has unloaded on NRL players for not standing up for her husband in the controversial flu vaccination debate.

Cartwright has avoided the flu shot and a club ban thanks to an 11th hour medical exemption from the Queensland government.

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The Gold Coast NRL player and teammate Brian Kelly had been given until Thursday to agree to take the shot that would enable them to train and play, in line with strict state government policy.

Kelly was vaccinated earlier on Thursday but Cartwright, whose wife and children are not, held firm.

The club confirmed on Thursday night he had lodged medical documentation to seek an exemption that was granted by chief medical officer Jeannette Young.

Cartwright was reportedly facing a $450,000 salary hit if he was stood down by the club for refusing the shot on non-medical grounds.

The avenue is at odds with his previously-stated moral opposition to the vaccine.

It's a viewpoint shared by wife Shanelle, who hit out at Cartwright's fellow players on Thursday, for not standing up for her husband's freedom of choice.

In a series of angry Instagram posts, the outspoken anti-vaxxer claims players let her husband down.

“I can’t believe they’re not standing up for their mate that might lose his livelihood,” she wrote.

“It would only take 5-8 players in each team to stand up against it and the whole NRL would be f***** I (sic) have no choice but to scrap the no jab no play.

“The NRL is dependant (sic) on the players to make them money.

“No players = no fans, no money. It’s sad that the other players can (sic) see this.

“Besides Bryce and the other…Where the real men at!?”

Small group of players still not vaccinated

The decision to provide Cartwright with a medical exemption from the flu shot leaves just six players in the NRL who are yet to be vaccinated.

While it clears every Queensland-based NRL player to train and play in the state, the same can't be said for the small group yet to receive the flu shot on non-medical grounds.

Canberra trio Josh Papalii, Joe Tapine and Sia Soliola, Manly's Dylan Walker and Addin Fonua-Blake and Canterbury's Sione Katoa are the others who would be able to train and play in NSW and ACT, but not Queensland.

The NRL is scheduled to restart on May 28, more than two months after it was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

On Thursday Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold said it would be unfair and that the NRL would be "kidding themselves" to cave to the minority and make the three Queensland clubs travel for "home" games in NSW.

Titans CEO Steve Mitchell has also opposed a shift away from their home ground, with the next two weeks of the draw set to be announced on Friday.

with AAP