Canterbury football manager Phil Gould remains hopeful that NRL off-season recruit John Asiata will opt to have the COVID-19 vaccination.
Asiata, who joined the Bulldogs from Brisbane, is reportedly hesitant to receive the jab and is not mandated to under the NRL's rules.
Unlike in the AFL, the NRL has not mandated vaccination but has said players who chose not to have the jab would be subject to stringent protocols in NSW and the ACT.
Remaining unvaccinated has greater implications for players in Queensland and Victoria, with both state governments insisting athletes wishing to train and play must be double jabbed.
Asiata is due to report for training on Wednesday but, according to Bulldogs staff, the forward has yet to receive either a first or second dose of any vaccine.
“(I am) still hoping John gets a vaccination,” Gould tweeted.
“I'd like to have him play for us. But if that's not to be, we will look at our options.
“I know his reasons and I see where he has developed his concerns. We are trying to allay those concerns.
“He has apologised for the inconvenience and acknowledged what effect this will have on his football career.”
In a boost for the Bulldogs, English prop Luke Thompson received his first shot last week after initial reports suggested the he was reluctant to get a vaccine.
Senior club bosses and NRL head office have been in discussions about docking pay from players who chose to remain unvaccinated.
The NRL estimated last week there were 20-24 players yet to be vaccinated, with CEO Andrew Abdo forced to defend the governing body's policy.
“I don't think there's anything soft about our policy,” Abdo said.
“What we are doing is we're giving people the freedom of choice, no different to many global sports around the world.
“No different to any federal or state government in Australia. No different to many employers.
“We want people to have the freedom of choice, which I think is important.
“But we are putting health at the forefront of our policy which is why we believe in vaccination, we want everyone to get vaccinated.”Internet Explorer Channel Network