NRL 2022: Anti-vax stand jeopardises Kiwis international Nelson Asofa-Solomona's future at Melbourne Storm

Giant NZ Kiwis prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona is refusing to vaccinate against COVID-19, putting his future with Melbourne Storm in jeopardy.

With Victorian health authorities insisting professional athletes be vaccinated before reporting to team facilities, Asofa-Solomona looms as the first NRL player to be stood down by his club.

Melbourne's Age newspaper reports the Storm are weighing their options and are understandably reluctant to release their rampaging forward, nicknamed 'The Big NASty', for another club to snatch on the open market.

The Victoria Government mandate has already taken a toll on sport within the state, with the Australian Open tennis tournament probably the biggest event affected, as defending men's champion Novak Djokovic refuses to reveal his vaccination status.

Across the Tasman, NZ Breakers have released star point guard Tai Webster for refusing to take the needle that would enable him to play in Victoria. 

While some major codes, primarily Aussie Rules, have made vaccination mandatory across their competitions, Australian Rugby League boss Peter V'landys refuses to enforce that on NRL players.

Outside Victoria, unvaccinated players can continue their pre-season training in a limited capacity after December 1, with many preparing for next season on personalised  programmes.