The Dolphins played a key part in reviving Matt Lodge's controversial career, now the front-rower is eager to knock off his former club in their maiden NRL match.

Handed a lifeline by Wayne Bennett following his New York rampage, Lodge was forced to ply his trade with Redcliffe in 2017 before eventually returning to first-grade the following season with the Broncos.

The 27-year-old was widely tipped to join the Dolphins after a cameo at the Sydney Roosters late last season, however after being upgraded to the Chook's top 30 for this season, Bennett and Lodge will quickly come from friend to foe on Sunday.

“I've told Wayne I'll always be grateful,” Lodge told The Daily Telegraph.

“I don't think he knew the storm he was getting into by signing me but he looked after me through it.

“I met him in Sydney when I was out banned and we had a long chat.

“He promised if I worked hard, no matter how long it took, he would give me a shot.

“He really believed in me. I had almost three years off and he rang me without even doing a pre-season session and said, ‘You'll be starting round one (at the Broncos), be ready'.

“He kept his word. I made my comeback game for the Broncos in the NRL and it was very special to me.

“Essentially he's changed the course of my whole family's life.

“By giving me a chance to make up for my mistakes and have a second chance in life... he's a good man.”

While he'll be without bash brother Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Lodge will still head a fearsome forward including Victor Radley, Lindsay Collins and the Butcher brothers to face an ageing Dolphins' pack.

The league community has seemingly moved on from Matt Lodge's drunken New York rampage. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

His job may be to roll through them tomorrow, but the prop is thankful for his time up north.

“I loved my time at Redcliffe,” he said.

“I promised I would stay out of trouble and guys like Tony Murphy, Bob Jones and Grant Cleal backed me like family and did whatever they could to get me back to the NRL.”

The 27-year-old fell short of a Kangaroo debut last season, but admits life couldn't be better in Bondi.

“Moving back to Sydney in general has been good for me and the family,” he said.

“I'm pretty settled and content outside footy and the Roosters have been great.

“I'm enjoying myself. I believe in the style of footy ‘Robbo' likes. and everything is very simple for me here.

“It's a great environment with professionalism and I'm enjoying putting 100 per cent of my focus on my own game and how I can help the team.

“I feel like they have helped me simplify and value the simple things and improve my game.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 11: Matthew Lodge of the Broncos takes on the defence during the round five NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Wests Tigers at Suncorp Stadium on April 11, 2019 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Jason Ryles has been great for me and is fixing me up.

“We have a great bunch of boys here and I'm looking forward to the new season.”

Lodge will start at prop for the Roosters on Sunday afternoon as they look to dismantle the Dolphins in their maiden match.