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Warriors grant Lodge immediate release

Matt Lodge has left his second NRL club in 12 months after the New Zealand Warriors prop was granted an immediate release.

The Redcliffe-based Warriors and Lodge have mutually agreed to end their time together citing professional and personal reasons, with the player unable to commit to a future across the Tasman with the club.

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

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

His brief spell on the road with the Warriors ends a rollercoaster 12 months for the 26-year-old, who was engulfed in drama at the end of last season.

Lodge was fined $5,000 by the NRL for flipping the bird at the Gold Coast crowd in their final game after being one of three forwards sin-binned for melees in the back-end of the contest.

The dangerous contact charge from late in that match was his fifth offence of the year and he served a total of four games in bans on the sideline.

It marked Lodge’s first return to the headlines after a relatively trouble-free run at previous club Brisbane following his long ban out of the game for high-profile off-field incidents.

Joining the Warriors in July, Lodge’s final appearance was against South Sydney last Saturday.

Warriors CEO Cameron George said Lodge’s departure allowed them to move forward with planning and develop their younger players.

“We’re grateful to Matt for the contribution he has made since joining us last year and wish him and his family all the best for the future,” George said.

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