Front rower Matt Lodge is joining the Vodafone Warriors immediately after agreeing terms on a deal to the end of the 2022 NRL season.
The 1.91m, 117kg prop will join his new team in Terrigal this weekend after being released from the last year and a half of his contract with the Brisbane Broncos.
“Matt will add more experience and real size to further boost our front row resources,” said Vodafone Warriors head coach Nathan Brown.
“We like what he has to offer us as a big body in the middle of the park with his ability to play big minutes and his impressive work rate. He’ll be a great addition to our squad.”
Matt will add more experience and real size to further boost our front row resourcesNathan Brown Vodafone Warriors head coach
After starting his NRL career with the Wests Tigers, the former Junior Kangaroo has made 65 appearances for the Broncos since 2018.
Lodge becomes the Vodafone Warriors’ third midseason signing in a matter of days after winger-fullback Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and halfback Chad Townsend were secured last week. Last Friday the club announced fan favourite Shaun Johnson had been signed on a two-year deal from next season while Melbourne Storm prop Aaron Pene is also joining the club next year.
After earlier acquiring rookie fullback Reece Walsh from the Broncos, the Vodafone Warriors have also extended contracts for Tohu Harris, Jazz Tevaga, Adam Pompey, Rocco Berry, Bunty Afoa, Josh Curran and Taniela Otukolo during the course of the season.
“Matt is still only 26 but he has real experience and gives us exactly what the coaching staff want in the middle,” said Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George.
We’ve been active in the market working as hard as we can to strengthen our squad in the short-term while also looking beyond to ensure we’re positioned to build our club to where we want it to beCameron George Vodafone Warriors CEO
“We’ve been active in the market working as hard as we can to strengthen our squad in the short-term while also looking beyond to ensure we’re positioned to build our club to where we want it to be.
“Our recruitment team and coaching staff have identified areas they want to bolster right now while we’re also well-positioned with some great young prospects coming through for the long-term future.”
A former Penrith and Melbourne NYC player, Lodge will arrive at the Vodafone Warriors after performing consistently well for a Brisbane side which has been challenged throughout the season.
After injury limited him to just six appearances last year, he has played 12 games this year averaging 12 runs, 129 metres and 25 tackles a game. He also has 41 tackle breaks and 26 off loads.
Born: May 31, 1995
Birthplace: Sydney, NSW
Junior Clubs: St Patrick’s Blacktown (Sydney)
Previous Clubs: Wests Tigers (2014-2015), Brisbane Broncos (2018-2021)
NRL Debut: Wests Tigers v Penrith Panthers, Leichhardt Oval, Sydney, July 6, 2014 (Rd 17)
NRL Games: 77 (2014-2015, 2018-2021)
Wests Tigers: 12 (2014-2015)
Brisbane Broncos: 65 (2018-2021)
NRL Points: 16 (4 tries)
Representative: Junior Kangaroos (2014-2015)