Manly enforcer cleared by Qld government after vaccine stance

Australian Associated Press
·2-min read
Addin Fonua-Blake (pictured middle) runs and is tackled.
Addin Fonua-Blake is tackled during the round seven NRL match between the Manly Sea Eagles and the Cronulla Sharks. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Manly are expected to name Addin Fonua-Blake for the NRL clash with North Queensland on Friday night after the prop was cleared by the government to enter the state.

The 24-year-old's position in the team has been in doubt given his refusal to undergo a flu vaccination required by the Queensland government for NRL players.

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It is unclear whether Fonua-Blake has agreed to the jab or has obtained an exemption with a medical note under the same conditions as Gold Coast player Bryce Cartwright.

The round 11 match against the Cowboys will mark Fonua-Blake's return from a two-week suspension for abusing NRL referee Grant Atkins at Lottoland in Manly's loss to Newcastle.

Elsewhere, Wests Tigers hooker Harry Grant has passed a COVID-19 test and will be free to play Parramatta on Thursday night.

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Fonua-Blake has been suspended for the past two rounds for his high-profile contrary conduct charge, and the Sea Eagles desperately need to string wins together.

But as far as Daly Cherry-Evans was concerned before the announcement, he did not expect Fonua-Blake to play.

And the Manly captain insisted he would not try and sway his teammate to change his stance.

"Whatever a person decides to get it or not get it that is completely up to them as a person," Cherry-Evans said.

"There is an argument out there that we are playing a team sport and he is letting his team down.

"I don't believe that.

"He is standing his ground as a person and his beliefs.

"Whether anyone else thinks it's right or wrong, it's what he believes in.

"I feel like that is a really big part of what we are trying to build as a club: people being comfortable to be themselves."