Three Titans stood down over health policy

Matt Encarnacion
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NRL TITANS Cartwright

Bryce Cartwright and two Gold Coast teammates have been stood down after refusing to take a flu jab

Gold Coast second-rower Bryce Cartwright is among three Titans players to have been stood down by the NRL for refusing to take the flu shot.

Titans hooker Nathan Peats and centre Brian Kelly are believed to be the others, with the league acting on the advice of Queensland health officials.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young made the announcement on Friday after discussions with the NRL over its controversial flu vaccination policy.

"I've had a discussion with (the NRL) this morning and they've stood down those three players at the moment until we work through what it means," Young said.

"All their other players, staff and officials are all vaccinated and that is an amazing outcome. So I'm sure we're going to be able to sort it all out."

Peats later took to social media to explain his decision to refuse the injection, citing an adverse experience with the flu shot while with South Sydney in 2012.

He also said he would immediately move to have the injection.

"Seen my name in the media regarding getting stood down for no flu jab. It has nothing to do with some other players and being anti- vaccination," Peats wrote.

"Myself, my wife and both our sons are vaccinated.

"I had a bad experience in 2012 when I was at Souths when I had the flu shot, that's my only reason behind it.

"I've spoken to the club and will get the jab this afternoon. I had the option to say yes or no and I chose no for that reason.

"If I knew it would blow up I would have said yes straight away".

At this stage it is unclear if any other NRL players in Queensland, NSW or Victoria have been stood down.

The NRL has been contacted for comment.

The development comes on the same day Prime Minister Scott Morrison backed any decision by state governments to apply a 'No jab, no play' policy to the NRL.

The governing body was forced to amend its waiver form on Thursday, allowing players who refused the flu shot to play when the season resumes on May 28.

All Titans players, including Cartwright, signed the form on Friday, however that didn't stop Morrison from heaping pressure on the game to make the jab compulsory.

"Ultimately, states and territories have to determine what the health requirements are as they apply to the NRL," Morrison said.

"And if they were to be insisting on that, I would think that is entirely reasonable."

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said authorities won't tolerate anyone ignoring health advice.

"No individual, no organisation, is above the health advice, I want to make that very clear," she said.

"All of us have worked too hard to see (some) flout the rules in place, and flout what all of us are complying to."

ARLC chair Peter V'landys told AAP on Thursday the original agreement with government officials allowed certain exemptions for players regarding the flu shot.

"We respect the government because they have assisted us all the way through on our target day of May 28," V'landys said.

"But in the protocols we had approved by government it allowed us to allow players not to vaccinate on cultural and religious reasons."