Vaccines will not be mandatory for Gallagher Premiership players
Vaccines will not be mandatory for Gallagher Premiership players for next season, Premiership Rugby have confirmed to RugbyPass.
Premiership Rugby will be following the example set by the Football Association in not requiring players to be inoculated before returning to the field this September.
The league will continue to run a full LFT testing programme as per the 2020/21season.
A Premiership Rugby spokesperson said: “Our No 1 priority has always been the health and safety of everyone involved with Premiership Rugby – supporters, players, staff and management.
“Vaccinations are a personal choice but with Covid 19 still prevalent in England we would encourage all players and management to be double vaccinated as soon as possible.
“There is no change to our comprehensive testing programme as we work together with our clubs to keep everyone safe, and try to prevent any matches from being cancelled in the 2021-22 season.”
With vaccines rolled out to younger age groups in the UK over the summer, professional rugby players will have had the opportunity to avail of it, should they so desire.
All of the British & Irish Lions touring party were vaccinated before travelling to South Africa at the end of June. RugbyPass understands that the Wallabies squad was also vaccinated in its entirety last week.
As of August 20th, 90 per cent of all Top 14 players and staff had been vaccinated.
In contrast, England and Exeter Chiefs centre Henry Slade said that he would not be taking the vaccine for personal reasons. A diabetic, Slade was criticised in some quarters for his stance on the matter.
There was also fallout prior to Fiji’s first Test against New Zealand. In July Fiji chose not to wear jerseys bearing a pro-vaccination message because of objections from some of the squad.
In the United States, the NFL have been pushing for compulsory vaccinations for all their players, although they’ve stopped short of mandating it. Currently, 93 per cent of the league’s players have received the jab.
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now