Matt Lodge has made his return to rugby league following a dramatic falling out with the New Zealand Warriors which saw him exit the club.

Lodge, who had already confirmed he wasn't in a position to move to Auckland on a permanent basis with the club in 2023, was released a number of weeks ago less than 24 hours before kick-off in a clash with the St George Illawarra Dragons with a revealtion in the day's that followed that he and club owner Mark Robinson not seeing eye to eye was behind his release.

Ironically, the Dragons are the same club he will return to the NRL with next weekend following his signing with the Sydney Roosters, with the tri-colours desperate to put themselves back on the path to finals football next weekend.

Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson understandably wanted Lodge to have a hit out in the NSW Cup on Saturday, which he did for the North Sydney Bears in a 30 points to 16 loss to the Canberra Raiders.

In 42 and 49 seconds of game time - split into two 21-minute stints - Lodge was solid without being fantastic, running for 88 metres from 10 carries to go with 27 tackles, although five missed being recorded against his name will be a cause for concern for Robinson, who is expected to bring Lodge straight into his side for Round 18.

It's also understood that Jared Waerea-Hargreaves will return from injury for the Dragons' clash for a desperate Roosters outfit, with Dnaiel Suluka Fifita and Drew Hutchison the two players tipped to make way, meaning Sam Verrills will start in the number nine role.

He could yet shift into the halves however, pending on the return timeline of Luke Keary who is battling a concussion.

The Roosters' two points with the bye will keep them within touching distance of the top eight, however, if the Dragons win on Sunday against the Brisbane Broncos, then they will remain four points out, and could be six with a loss next weekend to the Red V, making it a crunch game as the run to the finals gathers momentum.