Jason Taumalolo has remained tight-lipped about his Covid-19 vaccination status ahead of the upcoming NRL season.
The North Queensland Cowboys star refused to answer any questions from the media about whether he'd been jabbed or not.
And things got so heated during the press conference that the Cowboys' media manager was forced to intervene.
When first asked by a journalist about his vaccination status, Taumalolo said: "My medical information, that's purely because, I'd like that private, so I won't be answering any more questions about my medical information."
The Tonga international was then asked whether his status would impact his ability to travel internationally and play in the World Cup, to which he replied: "I haven't looked that far ahead, and at this time I won't be answering any questions about my medical information."
Another vaccination status question came his way, this one centred around varying mandates that differ from state-to-state.
"I'll be playing the NRL season," Taumalolo responded.
"I'm not gonna harp on about exemptions and injections and what not, so whatever I do to my body, that's my information but what I know is I'll be playing Round 1 and that's all that matters."
Another reporter then tried to squeeze in another vaccine question, which is when the Cowboys' media manager sprung into action and stopped it in its tracks.
"His beliefs are what they are, and he's going to repeat the same thing every time because that's what he strongly believes, and the club firmly believes that as well," the club official 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."
The NRL has not made vaccines compulsory for players, although state regulations in Queensland means fans wishing to attend NRL games must be.
Taumalolo has remained coy about his jab status, but has given indications of his stance in the past.
When his former teammate John Asiata had his contract torn up by the Canterbury Bulldogs over his refusal to get the vaccine, Taumalolo spoke out against the decision.
"I haven't spoken to him about what's happened to him off the field," he said.
"I'm sad and it's sad to see him leave the competition."
Featured Image Credit: North Queensland Cowboys
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