Melbourne forward Nelson Asofa-Solomona has become the latest big-name NRL player to dither over the COVID-19 vaccine.
The 25-year-old is the only Storm player not to receive the jab and, though the club remains hopeful he will, they realise that Asofa-Solomona’s reluctance could have serious repercussions for the Kiwi’s career at Melbourne.
Athletes cannot use the AAMI Park facilities at present if they haven’t been double vaccinated, which means the New Zealand international will be locked out until either the health rules change or gets the vaccination.
Asofa-Solomona’s issue highlights just how inconsistent the rules across the NRL are, with a number of calls for the governing body to bring into practice a uniform guideline.
If the rampaging forward can’t play for the Storm in the state of Victoria in 2022, he may have to take a huge pay cut or lose his contract, which would potentially open Asofa-Solomona up to the market.
It is especially concerning for Melbourne when considering that the November 1 deadline has passed and clubs can now make formal offers to players who are entering the final year of their contracts.