Gold Coast centre Brian Kelly insists he and the Titans are working together on his vaccination status, with unprotected Queensland players to be locked out of stadiums next year.
Kelly did not confirm his vaccination status when asked by media at the Titans season launch on Friday night, but labelled his position a “personal health choice”.
The 25-year-old was one of two players whom the Titans threatened to stand down last year when he refused the flu jab, despite a Queensland Government directive.
Kelly eventually had the shot, allowing him to play out the 2020 season on its resumption.
A similar issue awaits in 2022 for unvaccinated players, with the Queensland Government not allowing unvaccinated people into its stadiums.
That includes the Titans home ground at Cbus Super Stadium, along with Suncorp Stadium and Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville.
When asked if he wanted to tell fans of his current vaccine stance, Kelly responded: “It's just my personal health choice.
“That's all their choice and they can do what they want. And I believe my choice is my choice.
“That's probably about that.”
The NRL is currently finalising protocols for unvaccinated players, with Melbourne's Nelson Asofa-Solomona the most at risk of losing out given Victoria's mandate for athletes.
While the NRL has not mandated the jab competition-wide, it is likely salary cap exemptions will be given to teams with players who cannot fulfil their contracts.
Clubs will also be given the chance to stand down players, that situation playing out at Canterbury with prop John Asiata sent a termination letter last month.
League-wide the number of unvaccinated players has dropped to around 10, with clubs confident several of the last few could receive the jab before the season starts.
Asked if he believed there could be ramifications for him if he was not vaccinated, Kelly said he was in constant talks with the club over the issue.
“All of Australia is all under pressure with all that stuff,” Kelly said.
“But with myself, I just have good communication with the club and just take it step by step.”
Kelly also said he would “cross the bridge” of applying for a possible exemption when it got to that point.
His comments come after Titans CEO Stephen Mitchell claimed during the week he was confident the club's roster would be “100 per cent” jabbed before Christmas and Kelly would “be ready to go”.
“I'm really, really excited about where we're at from a vaccination rate,” Mitchell said.
“I thought we were going to be problematic, but we're going to be at 100 per cent before Christmas.
“That's a great outcome for a playing squad in the NRL at the moment and that's inclusive of all players.
“That's been a good outcome. There's no doubt social media can leave you misinformed.”Internet Explorer Channel Network