Gallen says Lodge can’t captain Broncos or any NRL side
FORMER troubled footballer Matt Lodge should not be allowed to captain any side in the NRL after his infamous 2015 New York attack, Cronulla great Paul Gallen says.
Lodge is reportedly in the mix to take over the Brisbane reins in 2020 after coach Anthony Seibold put a broom through his leadership group following their humiliating NRL finals exit.
The prop has turned his life around since avoiding a jail sentence after his October 2015 rampage in a Manhattan apartment and snapping up a Broncos lifeline last year.
But Gallen believed handing the Broncos captaincy to Lodge would only dredge up his past and put unwanted pressure on the player and club.
"You couldn't see him captain any side, to be fair. It can't happen," Gallen told 100% Footy.
"I can't see it being good for him. It just brings up everything he did."
Queensland and Melbourne great Billy Slater agreed.
"Firstly I don't see Matt Lodge as a captain of a club at this stage of his career," he said.
"And I don't think it will be healthy for him to be named captain because it unearths all the things that he has done.
"It brings up all that bad publicity about him.
"But it just shows you where the Broncos are at. You couldn't see Matt Lodge captaining the Roosters or the Storm could you?"
Lodge is reportedly in the running to take over the Brisbane captaincy from under-fire skipper Darius Boyd next year in the wake of their 58-0 elimination final loss to Parramatta.
After identifying the 24-year-old Lodge as a leader, Seibold is believed to be tempted to recommend to the Broncos board that Lodge be named captain.
But Gallen said Lodge could still lead without being officially named skipper.
"You don't have to have the 'c' next to your name to be a leader," he said.
"I am sure Lodge is a leader at training, I am sure he tries hard and shows the young blokes what to do.
"But to have the 'c' next to your name, there is a lot more responsibility that comes with that than just being a leader at training."
Lodge was ordered to pay more than $1.6 million in damages in the 2015 case. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanour reckless assault charge.
He avoided a 12-month jail term in the US with a plea deal to compensate the victims.
Lodge would need Broncos board approval to step up to the captaincy but former NSW coach Phil Gould couldn't see it happening.
"No, I don't think he needs that and I don't think the Broncos need it," he said.
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