AAP Rugby

Lodge’s quest to repay NRL’s faith

By AAP Newswire

Admitting it is a weight off his shoulders, Matt Lodge says he'll stay away from alcohol and continue to repay the faith shown in him after settling with the victims of his New York rampage.

CCTV footage of the incident shows a drunken and aggressive Lodge attacking a defenceless man after barging into his home, having already threatened a woman on the street.

Lodge avoided a 12-month jail term in the US over the 2015 attack with a plea deal, but was hit with a $1.6 million damages bill from a civil suit.

There was widespread condemnation earlier this year when details of his predicament surfaced, with the under-fire NRL refusing to sign off on a new deal until his civil suit was sorted.

But after agreeing to a confidential settlement amount last week, the 23-year-old has taken out a bank loan and will pay it in full to his victims, paving the way for an extension to his initial one-year deal.

Lodge said therapy had helped address the reasons behind his behaviour and, when asked if he'd continue to stay away from alcohol, replied "yeah I think I will".

"I know I have to continue to work hard to earn the respect of the community," he said.

"I've always been thankful to them (the NRL and the Broncos); they were in a position where they could have ruled me out, but they've done the right thing by me and I want to do the right thing by them."

Lodge said he felt the consequences of his actions every day.

"It reminds me of who I don't want to be, and thinking back to the incident I haven't put a foot wrong since," he said.

"It's (the settlement) a weight off my shoulders and been hanging over me for a while."

Brisbane CEO Paul White said Lodge was on the right track but not out of the woods yet.

"I understood the impact it had and was continuing to have on Matt, wherever he went, and there probably still will be a bit of that," he said.

White indicated he would like to extend Lodge's deal, reportedly worth $85,000, beyond this season once given the "green light" by the NRL.