Darius Boyd believes Matt Lodge is a future NSW Blues player
Darius Boyd believes Matt Lodge is a future NSW Blues player

Boyd backs Lodge as future NSW rep

BRISBANE skipper Darius Boyd has declared Matt Lodge is a NSW player-in-waiting as the controversial prop prepares to get his life and NRL career back on track.

Debate has once again flared about whether the 22-year-old should be allowed back in the NRL after CCTV footage of his New York City rampage emerged on Friday.

The NRL has stuck by their decision to green light Lodge's comeback after he spent last year in Queensland Cup and has made a number of changes in his life including swearing off alcohol.

Boyd was wary of putting pressure on the former Wests Tigers forward as he get set to play his first game in 984 days when he runs out for the Broncos' season opener against St George Illawarra on Thursday.

However he said Lodge, despite having just 12 games experience, had the capacity to break into the State of Origin arena.

"I definitely believe, without putting too much pressure on him, he's got the attributes and capabilities to play Origin," Boyd told AAP.

"At the end of the day, it comes down to your on-field performances.

The controversial Bronco has impressed during the preseason
The controversial Bronco has impressed during the preseason

"We're not expecting massive things from him early, he's only played a handful of games and hasn't played in the NRL for a while. I'm looking forward to playing behind him."

The victims of Lodge's October 2015 attack, Joseph Cartright and Ruth Fowler, argue he has yet to express remorse or attempt to pay the $1.6 million ordered by a US civil court.

News Corp on Saturday published a letter penned by Lodge to his victims which was meant to be delivered via a New York district attorney.

 

 

Boyd has endured a public battle with off-field issues including depression during his career and he argued Lodge similarly deserved a second chance to evolve and better himself.

"I've known him for about a year, but all I've known of him is that he's very humble, he speaks well, he cares, he's a team player, and he's fit in really well," Boyd said.

"We all makes mistakes and he's got a second chance and it's his opportunity to take it now.

"From what I've seen, he's done everything asked of him and more."



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