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Dolphins reportedly turn back on departed Warrior

MACKAY, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 27: Matt Lodge of the Warriors is tackled during the round 24 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Canberra Raiders at BB Print Stadium, on August 27, 2021, in Mackay, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

NRL newcomers the Dolphins are understood to have defused any reported interest in now-former Warrior Matt Lodge.

Lodge stunningly made headlines on Friday after the Warriors confirmed the forward would be granted an immediate release from the club.

While a new destination for Lodge wasn’t disclosed for the remainder of the 2022 season, the 26-year-old’s decision comes ahead of the Warriors’ anticipated return to New Zealand in the coming months, a move Lodge wasn’t willing to take.

“I couldn’t see my family living in New Zealand for a long-term future,” Lodge said in a club statement.

“Therefore, we decided that the best thing for the club was for us to mutually part ways so they have some clarity.

“I respect the club and especially the boys a lot and hopefully I showed that by the way I trained and played physical and gave my all every game.”

The New South Welshman is now on the hunt for his fourth NRL club and is likely to garner some interest from either side of the Tweed.

One club believed to have shut down any attempt of pursuing Lodge’s signature are the Dolphins, who have turned their back on the Blacktown product following his decision to depart the Warriors.

According to The Australian, Wayne Bennett’s outfit has pulled any remaining plug on a move to add Lodge to their impressive forward pack for 2023.

Lodge has been linked to the Redcliffe-based expansion club in the past, even having family ties to the Dolphins given the club’s recruitment manager Peter O’Sullivan is the father of Lodge’s partner.

O’Sullivan pulled the strings to land Lodge at the Warriors midway through last season in an immediate switch from the Broncos.

MACKAY, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 27: Matt Lodge of the Warriors is tackled during the round 24 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Canberra Raiders at BB Print Stadium, on August 27, 2021, in Mackay, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

Lodge had also worked under Bennett during the pair’s time at Red Hill, however, any suggestion of the duo reuniting in Queensland now looms unlikely.

The Dolphins have already added Origin calibre talent to their forward pack ahead of their inaugural season in the NRL next year, with Felise Kaufusi, Bromwich brothers Kenneath and Jesse, and Cowboy Tom Gilbert among those penned to Redcliffe.

Lodge is expected to secure a new club soon, with a return to his home state of New South Wales seen as a likely option.

The Sydney-born prop has played just 91 NRL matches since his debut in 2014, 14 of which came during his stint with the Warriors.

Source:: ZeroTackle

    

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