Casboult likely to get vaccinated ahead of rookie draft

Former Carlton ruck/forward Levi Casboult is expected to receive a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine ahead of next Friday’s rookie draft to pave the way for his AFL career to continue with the Gold Coast.

The 31-year-old was initially hoping to wait for the Novavax vaccine to be available in Australia, but sources close to him said he was moving towards getting his first dose next week. Players at Queensland-based clubs are not required to have their first vaccination until January 17.

Levi Casboult is now likely to get vaccinated ahead of the national draft.Credit:Getty Images

However, Gold Coast are not keen to add a player to their list whose vaccination status remains unclear. All AFL players required to be fully vaccinated to play in the AFL in 2022 with deadlines in place for players to be vaccinated depending on which state their club resides.

The AFL sent a memo last week requiring all players nominating for the national drafts to inform the league by last Friday if they did not intend to be vaccinated or were seeking a medical exemption. Clubs would then be informed if any players remained in that position immediately ahead of the draft.

Casboult would add much-needed grunt inside the Suns’ forward 50 as emerging key forward Ben King continues to develop and with Izak Rankine expected to make improvement inside 50 in 2022. His addition would come just weeks after they lost Hugh Greenwood to North Melbourne after they delisted him with the plan to re-draft him.

Casboult’s former teammate at the Blues, Liam Jones, retired on Sunday for personal reasons after indicating he was unwilling to be vaccinated, while there remains a handful of players across the competition who have shown a hesitancy to get the vaccination.

The Eagles have been working with three players who required further information before making their choice, but West Coast CEO Trevor Nisbett told The Age on Tuesday the club expected all its AFL-listed players to be vaccinated by the February 22 deadline for WA-based players.

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