NRL Expert @JennaBrooks
NRL Talking points: Flu vaccinations and going back to one on-field referee
Last Updated: 11/05/20 5:19pm
Jenna Brooks looks at the latest news from the NRL including flu vaccinations, Nathan Cleary's social distancing breach and going back to one on-field referee.
Despite the NRL and governments demanding all players in the state must have a flu vaccination, Bryce Cartwright and Brian Kelly have both refused.
The pair have been stood down and are waiting on the result of an NRL application for a vaccination exemption from the state government, however, Titans coach Justin Holbrook is prepared to be without both players indefinitely.
"As a club, we want to follow the protocol of the NRL, and more importantly the government," Holbrook said.
"Those boys can't come to training at this stage so we have to crack on without them.
"It is not ideal. You want all your players here and you want them training, as a coach. So it will be great if this situation can be resolved quickly.
"If not we have to prepare for a game to play in three weeks and we have enough players to fill those spots."
The decision taken by Cartwright and Kelly has generated plenty of talk throughout the game.
Cronulla Sharks captain Wade Graham has hit out at the duo believing they should put the team ahead of their personal views.
"It is their personal preference that they don't have the flu shot, for me that's a no-brainer," Graham told Triple M.
"If it was a purely personal preference, I'd say it's a team-sport boys, it's not an individual sport and you need to do things sometimes that are not in your comfort zone, or that are not in your best interests, for the greater good of the team."
If the Queensland government do not change their stance on flu vaccinations, the duo may not be paid beyond this month, due to not fulfilling their contractual obligations.
Penrith star Nathan Cleary could miss the May 28 restart after being faced with a two-match suspension and a $30,000 (£15,800) fine for breaching social distancing rules.
Cleary's house and team-mate Tyrone May is also facing an additional two match suspension and a $15,000 (£7,895) fine, with reports suggesting he was also involved in the incident.
"The notices allege that the players were untruthful in relation to material matters and the proposed sanctions reflect the seriousness of those allegations," the NRL said in a statement.
"Both players will now have an opportunity to respond to the matters alleged in Breach Notices before a final determination is made."
May had already been serving a five-game ban, which was handed to him after his role in a different scandal last year.
The NRL have played with two referees since 2009 in an attempt to eliminate the wrestle out of the competition, but to save money the game is looking at reverting back to using one on-field referee.
The NRL will give teams another set of six should the opposition slow down the play-the-ball with professional fouls.
The decision is set to save the game $2.5m (£1.3m) this year, and has been met with a lot of negativity, with Sydney Roosters chairman Nick Politis strongly against the change.
"It changes the entire fabric of the game and the way it's played. A six again call is a huge rule change," Politis told Nine News.
Super League and international games are officiated with one-referee and former St Helens coach Justin Holbrook, who moved to the Gold Coast at the start of the season, has also questioned the proposed change.
"I have come off two and a half years coaching in the Super League where we only had one referee and I was fine with that," Holbrook said.
"I am not sure if it is a benefit; I think our game is a really fast game and it is hard for one ref to notice everything and the game will be played differently if it is one."
The ARL Commission is set to make a decision on the change later this week.