The NRL will allow players to train and play games without having received the flu shot, after a decision was made in consultation with the Rugby League Players' Association.
The decision, handed down on Thursday afternoon, goes against the recommendations of Prime Minister Scott Morrison who called for a 'no jab, no play' policy similar to that imposed on pre-schools, but the players' association and the NRL came to an agreement to allow 'anti-vaxxers' to play without a flu shot.
Gold Coast Titan Bryce Cartwright was the first to speak out about the issue earlier in the week when he called himself 'pro choice' on the matter, but the situation escalated on Thursday morning when Canberra Raiders trio Josh Papalii, Sia Soliola and Joe Tapine refused to sign a waiver agreeing to a flu shot.
It is believed there are a number of players at multiple clubs who are against a mandatory flu shot before the league's resumption, with some players supportive of having the right to choose, and the NRL backed down in order to ensure the May 28 restart date isn't delayed further.
Cartwright took to Twitter earlier in the week to show his displeasure at the NRL, calling the 'no-jab, no-play' plan an "ultimatum".
"I stand for the freedom to choose what goes into our bodies. I am pro-choice, pro-informed consent and pro-medical freedom," he said.
"I have nothing against people who choose to vaccinate so to label me an 'anti-vaxxer' is spreading misinformation. The flu shot is not mandatory in the NRL at the moment.
"Players have been offered a waiver to sign if we don't want it. Giving us the ultimatum of get the shot or be stood down is coercion."