Brisbane Broncos player Matt Lodge is seen during pre-season training in Brisbane, Tuesday, January 29, 2019. (AAP Image/Dan Peled) NO ARCHIVING
Brisbane Broncos player Matt Lodge is seen during pre-season training in Brisbane, Tuesday, January 29, 2019. (AAP Image/Dan Peled) NO ARCHIVING

Brisbane’s big men carving their own legacy

Broncos enforcer Matt Lodge has declared there is no other forward pack he would rather play with in the NRL, backing Brisbane's big men to create a legacy at the club.

The young guns of the Broncos pack will be required to step up in 2019, following the losses of Sam Thaiday (retirement), Josh McGuire (Cowboys) and Korbin Sims (Dragons) since last year.

The likes of Joe Ofahengaue, 23, and Tevita Pangai Jr, 22, are expected to become weekly starters alongside Lodge, while teenage duo David Fifita, 18, and Payne Haas, 19, are in the frame for bench spots.

Talented props Patrick Carrigan and Thomas Flegler will also be pushing for their NRL debuts this year.

While there is still plenty of experience in Matt Gillett and Alex Glenn, the majority of the pack will be under the age of 24.

But Lodge, 23, believes the young forwards are ready to make history.

"We are focused on building a legacy here at the moment," Lodge said of the pack.

"We haven't got the results we wanted (at club level).

Lodge was one of Brisbane’s best last season. AAP Image/Dan Peled.
Lodge was one of Brisbane’s best last season. AAP Image/Dan Peled.

"(Thaiday, McGuire and Sims) were awesome and we've learned a lot off them.

"But the club here has shown a lot of faith in our younger players and me personally, I wouldn't trade any of the young ones at the moment for any of the other experienced players in the comp.

"We've got Payne, Patty Carrigan, Tom Flegler and heaps coming through and I am confident they are not just going to do a job, but do it well."

Lodge is also looking forward to his good friend Pangai Jr playing more in the middle this season, after coach Anthony Seibold told NRL.com he does not view the young Tongan as an edge forward.

Lodge will be Brisbane’s top prop in 2019. AAP Image/Dan Peled.
Lodge will be Brisbane’s top prop in 2019. AAP Image/Dan Peled.

He said together they can lead the rest of the pack and set an example for those coming through the ranks.

"He is definitely up to it," Lodge said of Pangai Jr shifting to the middle.

"We've got a lot of good young middles coming through and Tevita is one of the best of them.

"He wants to play there and he is ready to take the minutes on and do the best job he can.

"We are looking forward to taking the forward pack by the reins and doing our job and working together.

"There are a few other boys who are embracing it as well."

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