The Warriors have secured Brisbane Broncos prop Matt Lodge on a deal spanning two-and-a-half years, signing the controversial star effective immediately.
Lodge is now contracted to the Warriors until the end of 2022 and has the option of triggering an extra year, which would tie him to the club until the end of 2023.
Fox Sports has reported that the Broncos have had a $1 million-plus handshake with Lodge to force him out of Red Hill.
Despite being named in the front row alongside Payne Haas for Brisbane’s clash with Cronulla at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday, Lodge has played his final game with the Broncos, having been withdrawn from the match.
It comes just days after Broncos coach Kevin Walters said at a press conference that Lodge would be staying put at the Broncos until the end of the season. Walters also said that forward Tevita Pangai would remain at the club for the remainder of the season, despite the fact he’s been heavily linked with Wests Tigers.
The departure of Lodge from Brisbane comes after confirmation that Panthers back-rower Kurt Capewell has signed a three-year deal with the Broncos from 2022.
The movements of both Lodge and Capewell indicate that new Broncos head of football Ben Ikin is already having a major impact on Brisbane’s roster.
The Warriors’ attainment of Lodge is set to bolster what’s already a formidable forward pack; one boasting 2021 recruits Addin Fonua-Blake and Ben Murdoch-Masila, as well as workhorse Tohu Harris.
The Warriors’ form has again been patchy this season but Nathan Brown’s men are still right in the hunt for a top-eight berth, sitting 11th on the ladder and just one win behind the seventh-placed Dragons and eighth-placed Sharks.