Broncos guarded on Lodge, Dearden futures | Ralph Lauren

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Kevin Walters insists Matt Lodge will wear Brisbane colours again despite the off-contract prop’s links to an immediate Newcastle move.

Walters is attempting to revamp his roster, with Lodge’s expected exit clearing much-needed cap space for last year’s NRL wooden spooners.

Battling injury last season, talk of his exit has coincided with a return to form for the 25-year-old, who will miss Thursday’s clash with Melbourne due to suspension.

But Walters kept a straight face on Wednesday when asked if Brisbane fans had seen the last of the controversial figure.

“I don’t believe so. He is obviously suspended at the moment but we expect to have him back for the St George game in a bit over a week,” he said.

“At the moment he is still playing here and that’s good for us.

“We’re enjoying having him play and I believe last week against the Roosters was probably his best performance for the club.”

Walters did appear to be saying his goodbyes to halfback Tom Dearden at Red Hill on Wednesday though.

The pair were back-slapping and shaking hands in an indication he could receive an early release to join North Queensland before he was originally set to next season.

Walters said he wasn’t sure if Dearden had made a request for an early release.

“I’m just head down bum up this week with short preparation to get into the Storm game so I’m not aware of what’s happening outside that circle

“That would be something we have to look at certainly, but he is here at the moment which is a good thing, he is a good kid and that’s all I can say about it.”

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