SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 08: Matthew Lodge of the Broncos looks on during the round one NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Brisbane Broncos at UOW Jubilee Oval on March 8, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

The NRL are set to approve Brisbane prop Matt Lodge’s contract extension with the team, following the fallout from the Bronco’s drunken controversy in 2015.

It was revealed on Wednesday that Lodge and the involved family had agreed on a settlement of well under the $1.6 million payout that was originally agreed on, but finally gained closure on the incident.

NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg said that Lodge’s New York arrest three years ago should have no bearing on his future NRL career.

The 23-year old was forced to take a loan from the bank to accommodate for his required financial payout.

The settlement has now cleared the path for the Broncos to begin contract talks with Lodge, while the and Greenberg confirmed that the NRL are unlikely to stand in the way of any potential deal.

“My expectation is they will get into some form of negotiation and they will lodge a contract,” Greenberg told The Australian.

“If Matt continues to do the things he has been doing all year, then he can expect to have his contract registered. We were always looking for him to do what he needed to do to make good and to complete his obligations.

“From what I have seen, and obviously I have to look at the detail, that is now complete. I am pleased mainly for the people in America who have been affected by this.

“It gives them some closure. We made some comments earlier in the year that we had an expectation that he would do the right thing. I think yesterday was evidence of that.

“I am pleased for the people in America who have been through a difficult period and I am pleased for him and his family that he can now move forward with his life.”

The NRL governing body came under scrutiny for allowing Lodge to play after the scandal, but Greenberg said he deserved an opportunity to bounce back from the misconduct.

“I have acknowledged that it could have been much better communication in this issue,” Greenberg said.

“At the end of the day the game always gives people opportunities and this is exactly the same. Those opportunities have to be lived by the people and taken with both hands.

“We have seen people like Russell Packer do that — he is a phenomenal story for the sport. I hope one day Matt will be that same story but he has a lot of work in front of him.”

 

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