Broncos star makes stunning captaincy backflip
BRONCOS star Matt Lodge has reportedly declared he will not be captaining Brisbane in 2020.
The star forward had found himself at the centre of a swirling debate that divided Broncos fans and club legends after it was first revealed that Darius Boyd would not be captaining the club in 2020.
Lodge was reportedly the outstanding candidate to replace Boyd in the eyes of the playing group, but a public backlash from fans and NRL commentators left the club in the unwinnable position of not being able to promote Lodge to the captaincy because it would have been a public relations "disaster".
Regardless of the outcry over Lodge possibly being appointed captain, senior Broncos figures, including director Darren Lockyer, publicly supported Lodge's captaincy credentials despite his infamous drunken New York rampage that left an American family terrorised in 2015.
However, at the last minute, Lodge revealed on Saturday that he did not even want the captaincy and was happy to return to the club's leadership group in a similar role to the one he had this season.
He is expected to open up about the decision in an interview with ABC Grandstand on Saturday evening.
Matt Lodge says “NO” to @brisbanebroncos captaincy in an exclusive with @abcgrandstand at 5:30pm in Qld. After winning best forward in 2019, Lodge details how he’s happy just being a mentor to Payne Haas & the Broncos pack without any extra responsibility as he rebuilds his image pic.twitter.com/GECJHMU8mD— Zane Bojack (@zanofc) October 12, 2019
Lodge was last month one of five senior leaders dropped from a leadership role when Broncos coach Anthony Seibold scrapped the leadership group to start from scratch in 2020.
Captain Boyd, who was last month reported to be facing the sack as skipper, is expected to be removed completely from the club's senior leadership group as he battles to keep his spot in the team's best 17 players.
Star forward Matt Gillett has been speculated to be a lead option to replace Boyd, but he too will have to audition for a leadership role.
The Courier-Mail reports Boyd, Gillett, Andrew McCullough, Alex Glenn and Lodge have all lost their positions as senior figures of the paying group - but will be able to win them back after the coach's leadership review.
The Broncos were reportedly "seriously considering" Lodge for the captaincy.
The proposed appointment was publicly slammed by Broncos legend Glenn Lazarus.
"It makes my blood boil to think that Matthew Lodge could be the potential captain of that football club," he told Macquarie Sports Radio in September.
"When you look at the Broncos' history and the people that came before him, I would be absolutely disgusted to see Lodge leading the club.
"In fact, I would go to some lengths in regards to getting rid of a lot of the Broncos stuff that I have kept.
"Given the situation the club is in, surely we can come up with something better than that, someone that people look up to and not see as a drunken thug."
Lodge finished second in the Broncos' club champion presentation night behind star rookie Payne Haas.