Canberra Raiders stars Josh Papalii and Joseph Tapine have been cleared to enter Queensland after side-stepping the state government’s border protection restrictions.
The Raiders released a statement on Thursday confirming the pair have been given special exemptions to enter the state on the “medical grounds”.
It comes despite both players holding out against the league’s demand for players to receive the common immunisation as part of the biosecurity protocols that were agreed between the league and state government officials earlier this year.
Players receiving the common flu jab was one of the reasons the NRL has able to secure special exemptions from Queensland which allowed players to continue to move in and out of Queensland without a two-week quarantine period.
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It was reported earlier this year, Tapine and Papalii were among four Raiders players to knock back the flu jab on religious grounds.
The club’s statement on Thursday did not specify the conditions that allowed its star players to be given special exemptions by Queensland medical officials.
“Canberra Raiders Josh Papalii and Joe Tapine have been cleared by the Queensland Government to travel and play matches in Queensland,” the club statement claimed.
“They have both received exemptions on medical grounds.
“The club will be making no further on this matter due to the privacy regarding the medical exemptions.”
Queenslander Josh Papalii is back home.Source:Getty Images
It means Papalii and Tapine will join their teammates in Townsville on Saturday, when they face the North Queensland Cowboys at Queensland Country Bank Stadium.
NRL anti-vaxxers had another major win last week when Manly star Addin Fonua-Blake was also given clearance to enter Queensland. after also refusing to submit to an influenza immunisation.
The game’s highest profile anti-vaxxer case this season, which centred around Titans star Bryce Cartwright, also resulted in the player being given special exemptions to not have the shot on medical grounds.
According to reports, Cartwright was cleared to continue to play in the NRL’s Queensland bubble despite not having the shot because he had previously had an adverse reaction to flu shots.
Queensland’s Chief Medical Officer Jeannette Young granted the 25-year-old exemption from taking the flu jab, and he was cleared to play for the Titans immediately.
“Bryce Cartwright provided the Club with medical documentation seeking an exemption from the influenza vaccine protocol,” the Titans said in a statement.
“This was subsequently passed on to Queensland’s Chief Medical Officer Jeannette Young for review.
“Dr Young has granted Cartwright an exemption based on medical grounds.
“Cartwright is now eligible to return to training with the playing squad in preparation for the season restart.”
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