Broncos captain Darius Boyd could lose role
as Paul White endorses Matt Lodge
as Paul White endorses Matt Lodge
November 8, 2019 6:41pm
Brisbane skipper Darius Boyd has received no guarantees he will retain the club captaincy as Broncos chief executive Paul White lauded the leadership potential of controversial prop Matt Lodge. Boyd will launch his pre-season next week with no definitive indication of whether he will captain the Broncos in 2020 as coach Anthony Seibold prepares to use the summer months to gauge the credentials of his prospective leaders.
While Seibold gave Boyd some candid feedback during one-on-one player reviews last month, the pair did not specifically discuss the captaincy and whether the former Maroons ace would be stripped of top-dog status at Red Hill.
Darius Boyd’s captaincy is under threat in 2020. Picture: Ian Hitchcock
There is a push for Lodge to usurp Boyd as Broncos captain next season, but it is understood Brisbane hierarchy are unlikely to take that risk, mindful of the potential backlash following the prop’s infamous New York rampage in 2015. White was the heavy-hitter who rubber-stamped Boyd’s appointment as captain in 2017, but when asked on Friday if the 317-game veteran would retain the post in 2020, the Broncos boss was noncommittal.
“My relationship with Darius is very strong,” White said. “I am close to Darius, he has been a great supporter of mine and he would say I have supported him strongly as well in his leadership role. “But it’s not about personal opinions with leadership, it’s a collective decision for the club and it needs to be the right decision that delivers the best results.
Matt Lodge looms as a potential successor to Boyd. Picture: Dan Peled
“My relationship with Darius is unquestioned, I think he has been a great servant of our club. I see what he does on and off the field and I will continue to support him.”
Asked if the Broncos will consider a possible co-captaincy model to ease the strain on Boyd, White said: “That will be a decision that many people will have some input in. “First and foremost, our coach, but certainly myself and the board, will have some input on this. “There are many models of captaincy and our leadership group is incredibly important to the club and we will have a heavy focus on that leadership group in the off-season. “That should give us a good insight into who will lead our club (in 2020).”
Internally, Lodge is highly respected as a leader among Broncos players.
Broncos boss Paul White continues to praise Lodge. Picture: Dan Peled
The 24-year-old will have a beefed-up role in Brisbane’s leadership group next season and while White commended the prop for his on-and-off field maturation, he stopped short of saying Lodge will be installed as captain.
“Matt has got leadership qualities,” he said. “I won’t reignite the debate that Matt is going to be our captain because Darius is our captain and we will make decisions on the leadership of the club during the pre-season. “Matt has been a remarkable story for our club. He has absolutely turned his life around. He is a natural leader both in the dressing room and off the field. “He has unique qualities. He is extremely committed to his team and his club and the good thing with ‘Lodgey’ is he desperately wants success. He wants to win comps and that’s the overriding thing I would say about Matt ... is that he’s a winner and he wants to win.”
Asked about Lodge’s reputation in the eyes of the public, White said: “I’m acutely aware of Matt’s situation because we have lived it, I have lived it. “Throughout that period, I have come to learn about Matt and his family. I know the young man that is at our club now is very different to the young man of say four or five years ago who got himself into that situation (arrested by police in New York). “I’d sooner highlight what he has done for us. He commits to everything he does for our club. There is no-one who commits more to the community in our playing group than Matt Lodge. “He understands he has to build his brand and hopefully in the fullness of time people see it for what it is.”