Front-rower Matt Lodge will depart the Warriors immediately after being granted a release from his playing contract.

Lodge was contracted for this year and was understood to have an option in his favour for the 2023 season, though the club confirmed on Friday his time with them was up.

“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,” Warriors CEO Cameron George said in a statement.

“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.”

The 26-year-old joined the Warriors from the Broncos in July last year and has since played 14 first-grade games.

Lodge explained the reasons for his decision to seek a release.

“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.”

Lodge’s final game for the Warriors was their 32-30 Magic Round loss to South Sydney.

The prop, who has featured 91 times in first grade since making his debut with the Tigers in 2014, has not yet confirmed his next move.

Much has been made of his relationship with now-Dolphins recruitment manager Peter O’Sullivan – Lodge’s father-in-law.

Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett was also the man to give Lodge a chance back in the NRL with Brisbane after he’d been banned following a destructive rampage in New York City.

Lodge featured for Redcliffe Dolphins in the Queensland Cup in 2017 in his bid to make a return to the NRL during his ban.

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