Gold Coast coach Garth Brennan has said he is only interested in how Bryce Cartwright tackles his preseason games after the star NRL player came under fire for his anti-vaccination stance.
The former Penrith talent was back in the headlines this week after pregnant wife Shanelle’s strong public endorsement of anti-vaccination on social media went viral.
The couple have one child and another on the way, with the 20-year-old claiming she would home-school them rather than vaccinate if laws were made to prevent unvaccinated children from attending certain schools.
NRL star Bryce Cartwright and his wife Shanelle have sparked controversy with their refusal to vaccinate their children
Her Q&A on Instagram prompted a warning from the Australian Medical Association about ‘unnecessary dangers to public health’ and put Cartwright under the spotlight as he attempts to bounce back from an ordinary 2018 campaign.
But, apart from bringing extra heat on the ball-playing backrower, Brennan insisted there were no concerns at the Titans.
‘He didn’t need that publicity, but you’ll find there’s people in other clubs with the same beliefs,’ he told AAP.
Star player Bryce Cartwright’s wife is expecting the couple’s second baby, and said she’d rather home-school her children than vaccinate them, in a Q&A that went viral on Instagram
‘And at the end of the day what people do in their personal life and how they raise their children is no concern of mine, as long as it’s not illegal.
‘He’s not speaking on behalf of the Titans, it’s their own views, it’s not new and the other partners have been fully aware of their views.’
Cartwright’s move north went pear-shaped last season when he was demoted to reserve grade after a series of sub-standard defensive efforts.
Mrs Cartwright said she was firmly against injecting children (left) and if this meant they were banned from attending school, she would prefer to home school instead of vaccinating (right)
Gold Coast coach Garth Brennan has said he is only interested in how Bryce Cartwright tackles his preseason games and not in the way he raises his family
But Brennan, who had worked with the 24-year-old in Penrith, said he had given himself every chance to respond in the trial games from next weekend.
‘He got questioned a lot last year about ‘did he really want to be a footballer’ and I had to ask him the question myself,’ the coach said.
‘But the way he’s trained since, he wouldn’t put himself through that pain if he didn’t really want it.
‘The test now is going to come when he goes on the football field, because that’s where he’s got to put his head where he could put his foot.’
Cartwright has enlisted the help of hooker Nathan Peats, regarded as the Titans’ fittest man, to get him into shape and Brennan hopes it brings out the best in his unpredictable recruit.
‘We become a whole new Titans outfit if Bryce Cartwright fires,’ Brennan said.
The glamorous WAG and her NRL star husband welcomed their first son Koa in January 2018
Mrs Cartwright admitted her footy star husband was initially against being an anti-vaxxer, bur is now firmly onboard with the method
‘He can do stuff with the ball in hand that no other player can do.’
Mrs Cartwright, who married Bryce in 2018, made the frank admissions about their anti-vaxx beliefs and parenting methods during an Instagram Q&A.
Shanelle, 20, and Cartwright, 24, welcomed their first child Koa in January 2018 and are preparing for the birth of their second, which is due in the coming days.
The young mother said she and Cartwright had not vaccinated their son, would not use nappies for their second child and ‘don’t trust hospitals’.
Mrs Cartwright said she and her husband were not planning to use nappies for their next child (left), but admitted Cartwright was not initially sold on the unique parenting techniques
When asked by one follower whether she vaccinated her first son, Mrs Cartwright said she was firmly against injecting her children.
‘He’s not vaccinated – none of our babes will be,’ the young mother replied.
Mrs Cartwright said if unvaccinated children were one day banned from schools she already had a contingency plan in place.
‘They can go to school (so far)… if the law changes, I’ll home school before I vaccinate,’ she said.
Mrs Cartwright said instead of vaccinating she and her husband focused on the ‘gut health’ of their youngsters by ‘exclusively breastfeeding’ for the first six months.
She also admitted that while Gold Coast Titans star Cartwright is now onboard with these parenting methods, he initially took some convincing.
Shanelle, 20, and Bryce, 24, welcomed their first child Koa last January and are preparing for the birth of their second which is due in months (They are pictured at their 2018 wedding)
‘I remember he (Bryce) was so defensive when I first brought it up and got angry at me for even suggesting that we shouldn’t vaccinate,’ Mrs Cartwright said.
‘And then he read a package insert and a few pages of one of Dr Suzanne Humphries books and saw vaccines under a different light. And now we’re here.’
Unvaccinated children are banned from enrolling in preschool in New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland under the ‘no jab, no play’ laws.
At a federal level, the Australian government has previously introduced laws that link immunisations to benefit payments available to families.
If a family does not fully immunise their children up to the age of 19, they will not be able to claim the full amount of family tax benefit or child care benefits.
Health authorities warn anti-vaxxers threaten the public’s ‘herd immunity’ against disease.
‘Immunisation is a safe and effective way to protect you and your children from harmful, contagious diseases. It also safeguards the health of other people, now and for future generations,’ the Australian government’s health department says.
‘Before vaccination campaigns in the 1960s and 1970s, diseases like tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough killed thousands of children. Today, it is extremely rare to die from these diseases in Australia.’
Between one and two per cent of parents across New South Wales refuse to vaccinate their children.