‘Drunken thug’: Ire over Matt Lodge captain push
The prospect may disgust club great Glenn Lazarus but Brisbane director Darren Lockyer is confident the Broncos can cope with the fallout if Matt Lodge is named captain.
Lazarus didn't hold back over reports claiming Lodge was set to take over the Brisbane reins in 2020, saying it would make his blood boil if the prop was named skipper of his beloved NRL club.
Lazarus's scathing criticism came after Billy Slater and Paul Gallen also passionately opposed the Broncos opting for Lodge, despite the 24-year-old turning his life around since a drunken 2015 New York rampage.
But former premiership-winning captain Lockyer believed the Broncos could deal with the inevitable backlash if Lodge replaced Darius Boyd as skipper.
"If Matt Lodge was to become the new captain, I guess there'd be a lot of questions asked around what happened in the previous years past," Lockyer told Nine's Wide World of Sports.
"It would be difficult to manage all that initially but if you're looking at solely focusing on better on-field performance by the Broncos, then I think, that needs to be secondary to actually picking your captain based on who's going to give you the best performance on the field.
"He has played only 59 games in his career, he's 24. But I've got to say, from where (coach) Anthony Seibold sits, he is a leader - he's a leader of men.
"(And) if you think they can do the job, then give them a go."
Wally Lewis also backed Lodge as captain, saying it may help the front-rower go to the next level.
"If he's got extra responsibility on his shoulders leading the team, we might see the best-ever performances from Matty Lodge coming up," he said.
But two-time Broncos premiership player Lazarus is clearly not convinced.
"It makes my blood boil to think that Matthew Lodge could be the potential captain of that football club," Lazarus told Macquarie Sports Radio.
"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.
"Surely we can come up with something better than that, someone that people look up to and not see as a drunken thug."
Lodge has emerged as the favourite after Seibold put a broom through his leadership group in the wake of Brisbane's embarrassing 58-0 elimination final loss to Parramatta.
Seibold is also reportedly poised to inject young forward Pat Carrigan - who has played just 19 games - into the Broncos' leadership group.
Former Brisbane playmaker Ben Ikin said the club's "deplorable" recruitment and retention plan had ensured there was a leadership vacuum at the club. "They've left a leadership hole," Ikin told Fox Sports' NRL 360.