Rugby League bad boy Matt Lodge will resurrect his fallen career with the Broncos after signing a one-year deal for 2018 with the Brisbane club.

His deal under master coach Wayne Bennett is believed to be worth around $85,000.

Lodge is expected to begin pre-season training on Monday, backflipping plans to retire from the game.

The 22-year-old was rated as the best young prop coming through the system, however, he committed a regrettable crime in New York last year, which ultimately saw the young forward declare bankruptcy after he was forced to pay $1.6 million in damage costs by US courts.

The 116kg big-man has impressed in his stint with the Redcliffe Dolphins.

The Broncos have saved a spot for Lodge in his 30-man squad, formally awaiting approval from the integrity unit to allow his contract to be registered to the NRL.

“Matt was genuine about quitting, but we’ve been talking to Matt and it looks like he has agreed to play on, which is great,” Bennett said.

“He has done his time. He has paid more of a price than anybody else in the game. No one else has been out of the game longer, so he is entitled to get on with his life.

SEE ALSO:  NRL release statement on back-ended contracts

“He has made some commitments to us. He doesn’t drink anymore, he is going to university, he is quite an intelligent young man, so he deserves to play NRL again.

“He is a huge body, but he is also a very intelligent forward with the ball. He is a rare talent for the position that he plays. He has fitted in well here and I’m looking forward to seeing him in the NRL next year.”

Queensland forward Scott Sattler rated Lodge asana NSW and Australia representative in the years to come, after watching him play in the Intrust Super Cup.

“He’s the whole package,” Sattler said.

“If Lodge wasn’t out of the NRL for three years, I honestly believe he would be discussed in Origin circles right now.

“He played like a man among boys in the Intrust Super Cup.

“I’m glad he has decided to give the NRL another go. He’s got the skill, size and athleticism to be one of the leading props in the NRL.”

Broncos CEO Paul White warned young players not to make the mistake that landed Lodge in a USA jail, showcasing the aftermath it had on his career.

“The off-field work Matt has done gave us some confidence about what he could do for our club,” White said.

SEE ALSO:  NRL holds firm on Jack Wighton sanctions

“Matt was serious about quitting. At the time, I was devastated when he told us he was going back to Sydney because I had seen the work he had done off the field. He had spoken to our under-20s players about his own life story.

“It’s important we keep supporting Matt. But there’s no doubt he can bring a real point of difference next year … I don’t think I’ve ever seen a prop with his talent and ball skills.”

Lodge played for NSW under 16’s and 18’s, before playing for Australian schoolboys, and Kangaroos under 20’s. The former Wests Tigers prop made twelve NRL appearances in his time at Leichhardt.

24 COMMENTS

  1. I thought this happened ages ago?! All well, Wayne Bennett gets what Wayne Bennett wants! Hope Matt Lodge likes playing Friday 7:30pm at Suncorp Stadium every week…

  2. This article makes it out like lodge just made innocent mistakes. What he’s done has been deplorable. I have no problems with him getting another chance so as he can pay something back for the wrongs he’s made, but don’t make it out like it was just a few misdemeanors and sweep his past under the rug because he’s a talented footballer

  3. This bloke terrorised some women in the US , how pathetic of the NRL to allow him back , bet the “ladies of League “ are happy 😂! And to think Falau couldn’t play for $$$ , but SSTID sums it up what 🤠 wants 🤠 gets

  4. Hope Haas and Fifita still get a shot ahead of him. Haas and Fifita are Taumalolo clones and are the future star forwards of the broncos! It’s a shame Tigers let them slip out of their hands while at Keebra, but I still rate these two over Lodge any day!

  5. I worry about the safety of women in Brisbane when Matt Lodge and James Roberts go out clubbing together The Broncos MUST take responsibility for these two clowns given their history of violence against women. Surely one more offence from either and a lifetime ban from the game has to be applied. Surely?

  6. Well i certainly dont think theres any chances left for him… i get that this guy has been a mongrel. Not sure if he will survive brizvegas and the temptations of sin city down the road.

  7. From a footballing perspective, Lodge is exactly the type of prop the Broncos need. Great go forward, good offloading ability and solid in the tackle. Apart from McGuire, Ese Ese (whose left for the Knights) and Ofahengaue, the Broncos’ go forward from its forward pack was pretty poor last season. Hopefully Lodge can help in that regard as I think Haas and Fifita will need to play in the Intrust Super Cup before being exposed to the NRL. That said, I still think the Broncos’ are a couple of forwards short from being able to compete for the Premiership next season.

    • It seems the Broncos only ever look at things from a “footballing perspective” and brush over the off field misdemeanors if it involves a player who is seen as crucial to the team’s chances of winning. James Roberts (a repeat offender against women) was sure celebrated for his on field efforts in 2017 but no one likes to talk about his off field behaviour.

      It was a difderent

      • Hit post too early…

        It was a difderent story when Souths were under the spotlight on ZT with Cody Walker and Kirisome Avua’a were in trouble for domestic violence. I spoke out against yhem and that behaiour at that time. It’s about time we hear something definitive on this matter from Broncos fans denouncing this sort of behaviour grom Lodge and Roberts instead of only looking at things from a “footballing perspective”.

        • Let’s be fair please, many Brisbane fans including myself spoke out against Roberts and Lodges behaviour. You don’t remember it because it does not fit your narrative.

        • Yep I spoke out on Roberts and Lodge, and if I had my way neither of them would be at Brisbane. This goes beyond winning games and premierships, as a national sport it is important that the game and clubs show leadership when it comes to the image of the game. Not decide to sweep it under the carpet when it suits them.

  8. Kiwi Broncos fan here. I stopped being even a part time fan of the Warriors while they had a scum bag of this caliber (Shaun Metcalf) in the team. I have to keep in line with this so, while I hope the Broncos do well, I will no longer give them any of my hard earned money. I will not buy any merch for 2017 (as I would typically do) and, if they play over here while this jerk is in the team, I will no pay for a ticket (like I typically would have done). If there is any chance to tell them they are doing the wrong thing then I will do just that. There are some things that you do that mean you shouldn’t have a second chance, this is one of them.
    As for the person who mentioned Packer^ King hits (or coward hits) are not as bad as going at woman, but still must be borderline as to whether NRL needs to give people guilty of that a second chance.

  9. This bloke is a total grub.I wonder what Sandor Earl thinks about this considering his penalty for what id say is a far less crime,but anyway once again the NRL showing its strong stance against violence towards woman

  10. Yes Wayne everyone deserves a second chance but this bloke threw that out the window when he decided to terrorize those women in the US. I don’t care about how well this bloke plays football, he is a grub and has showed that plenty of times previously. Getting tired of this “win at all cost” mentality Brisbane have had since dropping the 2015 GF.

    • @SSTID_1970

      Wish I could mate but it looks like the old fool has finally lost his marbles. IMO the sooner Walters takes over the better

  11. If Lodge is a Queenslander? NSW pack will have to contend with both Napa and Lodge…Queensland breeds tough players!!

  12. No issue with him comming back
    He’s done all he can to make Amends he’s done anger management he’s done community service
    he hasn’t drunk in nearly two yrs unlike most who don’t stick to that promiss he has everyone who has something to do with him has stated he’s a completely different person unlike the keyboard warriors who have no clue
    he has admitted to his demons and has committed to Changing himself
    If it’s okay for packer to get a chance if it’s okay for Robert lui Anthony cherrington wes naiqama all committed crimes and two of which served time all were happy to allow them back in the game
    He deserves a chance as he’s proven he is willing to change and has

  13. No issue with him comming back
    He’s done all he can to make Amends he’s done anger management he’s done community service
    he hasn’t drunk in nearly two yrs unlike most who don’t stick to that promiss he has everyone who has something to do with him has stated he’s a completely different person unlike the keyboard warriors who have no clue
    he has admitted to his demons and has committed to Changing himself
    If it’s okay for packer to get a chance if it’s okay for Robert lui Anthony cherrington wes naiqama all committed crimes and two of which served time all were happy to allow them back in the game
    He deserves a chance as he’s proven he is willing to chatnge and has

    • You need a smack in the mouth , I’m happy to provide it and believe me I’d cut you in half girlfriend , when ya ready

Comments are closed.