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Australia: Raiders' NRL duo remain unvaccinated

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Canberra chief executive Don Furner says two of his club's players remain unvaccinated just six weeks out from the NRL season.

Two unnamed Raiders players remain unvaccinated with the NRL season start fast approaching. © Darren England/AAP PHOTOS Two unnamed Raiders players remain unvaccinated with the NRL season start fast approaching.

And the Raiders boss admitted it was a "good question" when asked if he felt comfortable sending players to Sydney for the NRL All-Stars match, as COVID-19 continues to disrupt preparations for the new campaign.

While the league has not mandated vaccination, measures in Queensland and Victoria would stop unvaccinated players taking the field.

Canberra's first interstate trip comes on March 19, when they head to the Sunshine State to take on North Queensland.

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"That's D-day for us, and we'll talk to them leading into that," Furner told AAP.

It had previously been reported four Raiders - including star prop Josh Papali'i - were refusing vaccination, however Furner confirmed that number had halved.

He said the club had not pushed the players to get their jabs, but instead allowed them to make their own health decisions.

Regarding February 12's All-Stars game, Furner said strict protocols were necessary to lower the risk of sending players into the respective camps.

"Most coaches don't like them going anyway because you could lose them to injury, now you could lose them from camp for a week as a close contact or with the virus," he said.

"It's about minimising the risk, they've got strict protocols for it that are even stricter than our protocols."

He said allowing clubs to draw on their juniors to fill in COVID absences was "the only real solution" to allow the competition to continue through positive cases.

Unvaccinated patient in 30s dies of Covid as Queensland cases dip .
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced 18 Covid-related deaths in the state, including an unvaccinated person aged in their 30s. New Covid cases in Queensland fell to 9,974 and hospitalisations were down to 818 people, with 54 people now in ICU.Ms Palaszczuk said the state appeared to have avoided the worst of the health department's earlier modelling, including more than 500 people in ICU units'We were planning for the worst case scenario,' she said. 'It's absolutely heartening to date that the modelling is below our worst case scenario.

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