Brisbane prop Matt Lodge has verbally committed to the club on the eve of his first matchup against his former team Penrith on Friday night.
Lodge has attracted the interest of several rival clubs following his his resounding return to the game. After a meeting with Panthers boss Phil Gould last year he revealed Lodge had reportedly not ruled out a return to Penrith.
But the off-contract Bronco is not going anywhere for the time being, pouring cold water on a return to his ex-club.
“(Gould) has always been good to me,” Lodge the Courier Mail.
“He’s been in touch since I left. I didn’t get too much out of it (discussion) because I’m at the Broncos and I’m going to stay here.
“It’s good to have his support and he’s always supported me. I’m respectful of him for that.
“Hopefully I can get something (contract extension) sorted out soon. I don’t really deal with it, I’m trying to play good footy every week.
“We need to pick up our game and make a charge to the finals.”
The 23-year old worked his way up the Panthers’ junior ranks before making his NRL debut for the Wests Tigers in 2014.
The controversial forward was infamously sacked by the Tigers following his 2015 New York indiscretion and faced a two-year hiatus from the league before joining Brisbane for this season.
Lodge has played all 17 games for Brisbane this season, averaging 118m and 20 tackles, detailing his loyalty to the club.
“It’s an awesome club,” Lodge said.
“I haven’t looked at going anywhere or doing anything contract-wise.
“They’ve been good to me. I’m returning the favour.
“They gave me the opportunity and hopefully I’m playing well and paying it back.
“I’ve still got a lot to work on. I was out for a long time. There are a lot of things in my game that need improving.”