Broncos break silence on Lodge captaincy snub
Broncos hierarchy have broken their silence on Matt Lodge's snubbing for the club captaincy amid calls for the controversial prop to be installed as Brisbane's skipper next season.
Club legend Darren Lockyer, a member of the Broncos board, revealed the executive vetoed a plan for Lodge to captain the squad this season, but hasn't ruled out the enforcer one day becoming Brisbane's top dog.
Brisbane's leadership group have come under fire in recent weeks after Broncos players refused to front the media in the wake of their dismal club-record 59-0 loss to the Roosters at Suncorp Stadium.
Lodge eventually stepped up as the first player to discuss the Roosters debacle, a move which has convinced former Tigers skipper and ex-Queensland Origin lock Scott Sattler that he should captain the Broncos in 2021.
Lodge's name was put forward as a captaincy candidate in pre-season but the move triggered a severe public backlash given the prop's troubled past involving his New York rampage in 2015.
Veteran back-rower Alex Glenn was subsequently appointed captain for the 2020 season.
Lockyer is presiding over leadership training with Lodge and six other Broncos players, but says the board needed to consider more than just the 25-year-old's standing in the dressing room when finalising the Brisbane captaincy.
"Lodgey's' name was put forward for the captaincy but it wasn't just a football consideration," he said.
"As a board we had wider issues to consider.
"The board was in agreement that it wasn't the time for Matt to do the job right now.
"In the leadership training, Pat Carrigan has been very impressive, he is very mature for his age, and Matt Lodge has genuine leadership qualities.
"He has come a long way as a person, he is one of those guys who is born with leadership qualities, but he has also learned a lot through adversity."
Penrith grand-final hero Sattler, a veteran of 203 NRL games, believes Broncos bosses should back Lodge regardless of external criticism.
"I would make Matt Lodge the captain next year," he said.
"I don't believe clubs should make decisions because they fear a public backlash.
"The people at the Broncos internally see Lodge every day and they would know his influence day-to-day better than anyone.
"What we do know is that Lodge is highly respected in the dressing room.
"We have seen players in our game, who made questionable decisions off the field, go on to become good leaders.
"If the playing group and coach identify him as the natural leader, then give him the captaincy."
Lockyer believes Lodge can overcome his chequered past to become captain of the NRL's flagship club.
"I think some people will forgive Matt but it will take time for him to win back the support of others," he said.
"There will be some people who won't change their view regardless of what Lodgey does. That's part of the price he has had to pay and he understands that.
"He obviously knows from this point he has to have an incident-free career.
"Over time, if people watch him and see his actions on and off the field, they will start to see how much he has grown.
"Lodgey needs to focus on what is in front of him and build on his leadership at the Broncos."
Originally published as Broncos break silence on Lodge captaincy snub