Brisbane Broncos prop Matt Lodge has signed a new three-year deal with the Broncos.
The 24-year-old has signed on until the end of 2022, repaying the faith the Broncos had in him.
Lodge is one of many rising players to commit his long-term future to Brisbane, with 23-year-old Joe Ofahengaue and Dally M Rookie of the Year Jamayne Isaako having both signed on.
21-year-old Junior Kangaroo prop Patrick Carrigan has also extended his stay at Brisbane, while 19-year-olds Payne Haas and Cory Paix see there near future at the Broncos.
“It’s been quite a long journey over the last few years but I’ve got my dream contract with my dream club and at the end of the day the decision was made pretty easy for me because this is where I want to be,” Lodge told the club website.
“There was some interest from other places and the money was good but at the end of the day I had to step back from that and I’m happy here.
“When I was out of the game I guess I looked forward to the first contract that would be put on the table and eventually I just drew a line and I’m happy with where I am and with what the club has given me – I recommitted here and I love this place.
“When I made the decision to stay I knew that this is a group of people that have supported me since I first got back and I wanted to repay the faith, and I wanted to give the fans and this club something they can be proud of and I’ll be working really hard to get that result.
In addition to his signing, Lodge has been able to use his experience to develop a level of leadership, both on and off the field, which he has used to help advance some of the younger players at the club.
“We’ve got a young group and Seibs made the decision to elevate me up to that leadership group and it’s something that I enjoy doing because I get on so well with them – and that came into my decision to stay as well. I’m really looking forward to building something with them here and working really hard both on and off the field to get the results we all dream of.
“We’ve got a good training staff, coaching staff and I’ve got all the trust and faith in the people from the top down at this club to get us where we need to go.
“We just need to turn up every day and work our hardest and listen to those guys and we have a group that’s going to go a long way in the next few years and that’s part of the reason why I’m looking forward to staying around.”
Broncos CEO Paul White has always been behind Lodge and had faith his development would be successful.
“We have been unwavering in our support for Matt over recent years, and it has been really pleasing to see his growth both on and off the footy field,” White said.
“He has matured into a leader and mentor for many of our younger players, and continues to work on his own development through studies and community work, as well as being a loving father to young Coby and partner to Jess.
“We are really pleased that Matt has repaid the faith that we have shown in him by committing long-term to the Broncos.”
In addition to the current signings, the Broncos have locked down exciting prospect Xavier Coates until 2021 prior to his debut game against the Sharks last Sunday.