The New Zealand Warriors will eventually move back across the Tasman and for Australian players like Matt Lodge, that can be a difficult proposition.
So Lodge and the club have agreed to mutually part ways effective immediately, with Lodge released from the remainder of his contract with the Warriors.
Lodge ensured he was transparent with the club about his future and the Warriors can now plan for the players that will move back to New Zealand.
“Matt told us a while ago that for professional and personal reasons he couldn’t commit to a long-term future in New Zealand when we return home for next season,” said Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George.
“The opportunity for him to leave now allows us to move forward with our future planning and to develop our younger players.
“We’re grateful to Matt for the contribution he has made since joining us last year and wish him and his family all the best for the future.”
Lodge, 26, previously played for the Brisbane Broncos and the Wests Tigers before joining the Warriors midway through last year.
Lodge hoped that he was able to leave a good impression on Warriors’ fans but admits that being away from his family and living in New Zealand was not the option for him.
“I couldn’t see my family living in New Zealand for a long-term future,” said Lodge.
“Therefore we decided that the best thing for the club was for us to mutually part ways so they have some clarity.
“I respect the club and especially the boys a lot and hopefully I showed that by the way I trained and played physical and gave my all every game.”