Dual premiership Crow refuses COVID-19 vaccination

PREMIERSHIP Crow Deni Varnhagen has told the club she currently does not want to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

Varnhagen, 28, works as a nurse away from football.

While the Victorian Government required all Victorian AFLW footballers to have received their first vaccination by Friday, October 15 as a condition of their work permits, no such rule has been made by their South Australian counterparts.

However, South Australian healthcare workers need to have their first vaccination by November 1.

"We encourage all players and staff to receive a vaccination," an Adelaide spokesperson told womens.afl.

"We will comply with all rules and regulations set down by both the Government and the AFL."

The AFL’s vaccination policy is currently being finalised and the League said that it would continue to provide education for players and staff across AFL and AFLW programs.

Varnhagen, an inaugural Crow, has played 31 games across five seasons, including two premierships, having battled knee and quad issues in the past few years.

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She posted a video on social media on Saturday showing people marching in Adelaide for "freedom of choice" and then followed it up with another clip holding a sign that read "health care hero's (sic) in 2020 ... unvaxed unwanted in 2021".

Crow Deni Varnhagen celebrates on the siren against Collingwood in round nine, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Over pre-season, AFLW clubs have the ability to replace players who become unavailable for the upcoming season, usually due to long-term injuries, work commitments or pregnancy.

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In addition to the standard PCR weekly testing, a number of AFLW clubs – including Collingwood, Melbourne, North Melbourne and Richmond – have also started conducting rapid antigen testing before each training session, as an added layer of risk minimisation.