Cowboys superstar Jason Taumalolo has refused to answer questions surrounding his COVID-19 vaccination status, declaring “whatever I do to my body, that’s my information”.
Taumalolo, who is available for round one selection, was bombarded by questions at a Cowboys press conference today surrounding his vaccination status.
Cowboys coach recently Todd Payten confirmed his entire squad was “compliant” to take to the field this season.
“I can categorically say that we are compliant as a club for vaccinations [and] we are compliant with NRL protocols for vaccinations,” Payten said last week.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, it’s believed Taumalolo, as well as Melbourne’s Nelson Asofa-Solomona, have federal government exemptions.
The NRL currently hasn’t mandated a vaccination policy like rival code the AFL, but state and border protocols, as well as travel to New Zealand, have put pressure on clubs to enforce the COVID-19 jab for their players, which the Canterbury Bulldogs have done.
If a person contracts COVID-19, Queensland Health rules state medical exemptions can be granted but will only be valid for four months from infection.
But when asked today about how he had become compliant and listed available for round one selection, the 2015 premiership winner was tight-lipped.
“I won’t be disclosing any information about my medical information,” Taumalolo said.
“That’s purely because I’d like that private. I won’t be answering any more questions about my medical information.”
Asked about transparency, with Cowboys fans only allowed to attend games this season if vaccinated, he replied, “I can’t answer that, I’m sorry.”
2021 Team Reviews: The Cowboys frustrating season
The 28-year-old was pressed again and asked how his vaccination status would affect his potential plans to feature at Rugby League World Cup in England later this year.
“I haven’t looked that far ahead. At this time I won’t be answering any questions about my medical information,” he replied.
Taumalolo was then asked about how his selection and eligibility would look later in the NRL season.
“I’ll be playing the NRL season,” he said.
Beast Mode! Jason Taumalolo reminds us why he’s the lock forward benchmark
“I’m not going to harp on about exemptions and injections and whatnot. Whatever I do to my body that’s my information. All I know is, I’ll be playing round one and that’s all that matters.”
The reporters in attendance continued to press the Cowboys star on the matter before a club staffer stepped in to change the topic.
“His beliefs are what they are and he’s going to repeat the same answers every time because that’s what he strongly believes, and the club firmly believes that as well,” the Cowboys staffer said.
“You’re going to have to talk to him numerous times throughout the year, I think it’s time to show him a bit of respect for how he’s been treated throughout this situation.”
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!