Brisbane Broncos Training Session
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 15: Assistant Coach Kevin Walters gives directions during the Brisbane Broncos NRL training session on March 15, 2018 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Brisbane Broncos' coach Kevin Walters has hit back at fierce criticism over the club's handling of Matt Lodge's departure.

The forward departed the club mid-week in an immediate release to the New Zealand Warriors. The somewhat bizarre news followed a mid-week ultimatum from Walters that neither Lodge, or fellow forward Tevita Pangai Junior, would be leaving the club mid-season.

Walters fronted the media virtually on Saturday afternoon ahead of the club's clash with the Cronulla Sharks tomorrow and was quizzed on the situation.

“There’s been no mixed messaging from me personally,” Walters said.

Matt Lodge has been one of those players that has been looking at other clubs for some time, it’s just a matter of when Matt found the opportunity to exit the club. The timing was unfortunate.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 15: Matthew Lodge of the Broncos looks on during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Parramatta Eels and the Brisbane Broncos at Bankwest Stadium on September 15, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

“But my job here is to coach the side, I’m fortunate now to be able to coach the side in a way that I feel I can give my 100 per cent capacity to the team.

“We’ve got great staff here now that are assisting with the roster, the management of the roster which has been taken off me, which is great. That enables me to now go and coach the team... which I’m looking forward to."

Walters also didn't rule out there being other changes to the team in the coming weeks.

“There may be some other changes around the roster but that won’t have anything to do with me personally. My job is to coach this team and that’s what I’ll be doing.”

RELATED: NRL transfer wrap

The baffling turn of events for Lodge exiting the Broncos came as mid-week speculation sparked that Tevita Pangai Junior would be joining the Wests Tigers in the coming days ahead of the mid-season trade deadline.

The Brisbane Broncos are sitting at the bottom of the competition ladder with nine weeks to play, and while finals are very much out of the question for the Brisbane-based club, they will be attempting to avoid their second straight wooden spoon as preparations for 2022 continue.