Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Nelson Asofa-Solomona’s stance on being vaccinated against COVID-19 has been no secret but is now starting to impact his place at the Melbourne Storm as the New Zealand International was required back at training last Tuesday.
However, he has been unable to return due to Victoria’s strict stance on being vaccinated to return to work.
This situation has put Melbourne in quite the predicament, although it seems quite the resolution has been presented to them as The Daily Telegraph’s Dean Ritchie is reporting that Luke Thompson’s representatives have offered their star forward to the Storm, who surprisingly have rejected the offer in the hope that Asofa-Solomona will get vaccinated before next season.
“Canterbury forward Luke Thompson has been shopped to Melbourne Storm,” said Ritchie.
“While desperately hoping prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona will agree to be vaccinated, club officials considered an approach from a third party representing Thompson.
— Telegraph Sport (@telegraph_sport) December 5, 2021
“After consideration, Melbourne felt the money being asked for Thompson was excessive and rejected the offer.
“The proposition was made in mid-November and was for a two-year deal.
“Privately, Melbourne hope the giant forward may have at least one jab before Christmas, meaning he could return late to pre-season training.”
It is believed that Asofa-Solomona is happy at the Storm and would like to stay with the club, but has come to terms with the fact that he will have to leave if he does not eventually get vaccinated.
Ritchie has also provided an update on Luke Thompson’s situation at the Bulldogs, and it looks as though he will not be at the club for much longer.
“The Bulldogs want to retain Thompson but are aware of his departure — despite having another two years to run on his current contract — would free up considerable space in the club’s tight salary cap,” said Ritchie.
“Thompson was shopped to Wests Tigers earlier this year.
“There has been speculation that Thompson and Bulldogs teammate Nick Cotric could sign with Wests Tigers — allowing Canterbury to have a crack at Parramatta and NSW prop, Junior Paulo.”
If Thomspon does find another club by the end of season 2022, then it will likely cause a chain reaction that will see multiple forwards move clubs, as the Eels will need a new prop if Junior Paulo does in fact leave, as too the Storm depending on how the Nelson Asofa-Solomona works out.