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John Asiata, Canterbury Bulldogs, COVID vaccination, rules, contract

The NRL career of international forward John Asiata is likely over after he decided to quit rather than receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

The 28-year-old signed a contract to play with Canterbury next season, but had not yet signed on at training as he baulked at the club’s demand he get a jab.

The Bulldogs today announced Asiata had agreed to forfeit his deal, leaving him unregistered in the NRL and effectively without a job.

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The NRL has not mandated vaccines for players and staff – like the AFL has – but certain clubs have taken a strong stance in requesting all employees get vaxxed.

The Bulldogs sent an email to all staff in the off-season explaining the expectation they get vaccinated before returning to Belmore.

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There’s believed to be only a handful of NRL players still unvaccinated. Melbourne is engaged in discussions with hulking prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona over his refusal to get jabbed.

Asiata has played four Tests – for Tonga and Samoa – and 138 NRL games for the Cowboys and Broncos.

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