Gold Coast co-captain David Swallow in action during the Marsh Community Series in 2020. Picture: AFL Photos

THE AFL will not force its players to have flu shots to be eligible to play when games resume.

It is an opposite move to the NRL, which has set guidelines for its players to submit to flu shots before its season resumes on May 28, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison also adamant players should abide by a "no jab, no play" policy in the midst of COVID-19.

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But a League spokesperson confirmed that the AFL would not be following suit, despite recommending to clubs the benefits of an annual flu shot.

"While the AFL recommends players and officials to get a yearly flu shot, the decision is ultimately that of the player and club doctor as to whether they wish to do so," an AFL spokesperson said.

Earlier on Friday, Gold Coast co-captain David Swallow had said be didn't believe players should be forced to take the vaccination.

"To be honest I'm not too sure it should be mandatory. Everyone's going to have their different beliefs and opinions on this matter," Swallow said on Friday.

"I don't know if we should be forcing anyone to do anything they wouldn't be comfortable doing. I know others would have a different opinion on that, but that's my opinion."


The remaining seven Suns players who had headed back to their home states during the coronavirus-enforced shutdown will return to Queensland on Friday night, with the AFL poised to announce next week its targeted return date.

But there has been a misstep this week, with Adelaide admitting to breaching rules regarding training in groups larger than two players while its returning players isolate at a golf course in the Barossa Valley.

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Swallow said the Suns have been reminded of their duty to stick to the rules in light of the incident.

"We're trying to echo that message across to our players and especially given that training's hopefully resuming soon [so] we don't have any of those slip-ups," he said.

The Suns have stepped up their trainings in recent weeks as optimism builds around a scheduled return to footy in June.

They look likely to have a bolstered side from the one that was easily defeated by Port Adelaide in round one, with key defender Rory Thompson (knee), experienced backmen Jarrod Harbrow (groin) and Pearce Hanley (calf), and last year's leading goalkicker Alex Sexton (hamstring) expected to be fit.

Young livewire Izak Rankine could also make his long-awaited debut as soon as games resume after overcoming his shoulder issue.

Swallow, however, won't play in the Suns' first game back as he serves a one-game suspension from the opening round.