Warriors after prop with troubled past

By Te Ao - Māori News

Warriors coach Stephen Kearney has admitted that rumours around the club trying to get the services of controversial Broncos prop Matt Lodge are true.

In a week of movement and re-signings, Kearney told media that "we are always looking to improve and we will continue to do so, but nothing has been formalised with Matt."

The 24-year-old Lodge has been in good form at the Broncos so far this year, but will bring a fair bit of scrutiny to Mt Smart with him if he does indeed sign with the Warriors.

In 2015, Lodge was arrested in New York, and plead guilty to a reckless assault charge after he followed and threatened a German tourist. After she rang a doorbell for help, Lodge entered an apartment and assaulted the owner while the man’s wife and child hid in the bathroom. While he avoided being jailed, Lodge was convicted by a US civil court and ordered to pay $US1.6 million in damages.

It led to his sacking from the Wests Tigers, and a controversial lifeline being extended by the Broncos last year. Lodge, who was heavily intoxicated at the time of the assault, has publicly apologised for his actions and quit drinking.

Lodge is 1.90m and 120kgs, something that Kearney is keen to utilise and build a pack around.

"He's a big body there's no doubt about that, and I think he has done really well since being at the Broncos. He's sort of an old school front rower so there's a lot to like about his game."

Warriors half Blake Green echoed Kearney’s sentiments.

"We played them a few weeks ago and he was great, really powerful and he gets through some big minutes. I'm not sure where all that's at with regards to his contract situation, but he'd be a good acquisition for whoever gets him."

Right now the Warriors are one of three sides hoping to sign Lodge, with the Broncos keen to retain him and the Parramatta Eels also in the hunt.

Also, hooker Karl Lawton added two years to his Warriors deal on Wednesday, and Sydney Roosters second-rower Josh Curran was signed till 2021. Solomone Kata was released to join Melbourne on Monday.