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Brisbane Broncos boss lauds Matt Lodge, refuses to confirm Darius Boyd’s captaincy

Sporting News logo Sporting News 8/11/2019
Matthew Lodge looking at the camera © Getty Images

Brisbane Broncos CEO Paul White has reignited debate over polarising prop Matt Lodge’s captaincy credentials after refusing to confirm incumbent Darius Boyd will keep the job in 2020.

A report in September suggesting coach Anthony Seibold and members of the Broncos board were considering promoting Lodge to the captaincy in 2020 sparked outrage.

Broncos legend Gorden Tallis warned members would abandon the club if Lodge was handed the captain’s armband.

Glenn Lazarus went a step further, labelling the 24-year-old a ‘drunken thug’, while NRL greats Billy Slater and Paul Gallen also declared Lodge isn’t NRL captaincy material.

Lodge has been a model citizen since former coach Wayne Bennett signed him in 2018, playing 47 games for the Broncos.

But he remains a highly controversial figure following his infamous 2015 rampage in New York.

White lauded Boyd, who begins the 2020 season under serious pressure after a disastrous 2019 campaign that saw him widely criticised and urged to retire.

But the CEO’s effusive praise of Lodge in an interview with The Courier Mail’s Peter Badel is certain to spark renewed speculation about the front-rower’s chances of captaining the club.

White insisted the leadership roles will be decided during the pre-season but lauded Lodge, declaring he has ‘leadership qualities’ and is a ‘remarkable story for our club’.

Lodge was a member of the Broncos’ five-man leadership group in 2019.

It is understood Lodge would turn down the captaincy if the club offers him the job.

But the debate will continue to rage until the Broncos make an official captaincy announcement in the coming months.

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