MACKAY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 27: Matt Lodge of the Warriors is tackled during the round 24 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Canberra Raiders at BB Print Stadium, on August 27, 2021, in Mackay, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

New Zealand Warriors front rower Matt Lodge has officially been granted an immediate release from the remainder of his playing contract with the club.

In a surprise announcement on Friday morning, the club revealed the prop has played his final game for the club.

It has not yet been revealed which club Lodge will sign on with for the remainder of the 2022 season.

It comes as the Warriors prepare for a move back to New Zealand on a full-time basis in just over a month, with their first home game in Auckland currently slated to be a Round 16 clash with the Wests Tigers.

Previous reports had suggested Lodge had turned down a contract extension with the Warriors on the premise that he didn't want to move to Auckland.

In a statement, Lodge confirmed that as the reason, saying he couldn't see his family moving to Auckland.

“I couldn’t see my family living in New Zealand for a long-term future,” said Lodge.

“Therefore we decided that the best thing for the club was for us to mutually part ways so they have some clarity.

“I respect the club and especially the boys a lot and hopefully I showed that by the way I trained and played physical and gave my all every game.”

The statement confirmed Lodge has played his last game for the club, having originally joined on an immediate swap from the Brisbane Broncos in July of last year.


Lodge has previously played for the Wests Tigers and Brisbane Broncos on his way to 91 NRL appearances.

The front rower was named to play this Saturday against the St George Illawarra Dragons, but will now likely be replaced in the starting team by either Aaron Pene or Bunty Afoa, with Eliesa Katoa set to join the bench.