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Roosters eye off Lodge short-term deal, Munster cleared of serious shoulder injury

The Sydney Roosters could add controversial prop Matt Lodge to their roster for the rest of the season on a short-term deal as they try to revive their stuttering season.

Lodge, who was released by the Warriors and received a hefty payout by the club last month, has been looking to link with a club for the rest of the year.

Parramatta had expressed interest but the Roosters have emerged as the frontrunners for his signature, according to a NewsCorp report.

The 27-year-old has been linked to a long-term move to the Dolphins when the expansion club enters the NRL next year but Redcliffe officials are yet to formally announce any deal.

With the Roosters sitting in ninth spot with a 7-8 record heading into Friday’s trip to Penrith to face the runaway competition leaders, they are in danger of missing the finals for the first time since their 15th-placed finish in 2016.

That’s the only season in the past nine years in which they haven’t at least made the semi-final stage of the playoffs.

Lodge has been valued by the NRL salary cap auditors at $20,000 per game so the Roosters will need to show they have around $200,000 in their salary cap to have a deal approved.

Matt Lodge of the Warriors is tackled during the round 24 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Canberra Raiders at BB Print Stadium, on August 27, 2021, in Mackay, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

They recently released Freddy Lussick and Ronald Volkman, coincidentally to the Warriors, to free up cap space.

Lodge exited the Warriors in dramatic circumstances following a blow-up with club owner Mark Robinson and was reportedly paid $700,000 as part of the deal even though he was only under contract for next season if he had decided to take up a player option.

He has not stepped out of line off the field since his controversial return to the NRL in 2018 after being deregistered for his infamous rampage in New York City which led to him being imprisoned in the notorious Rikers Island jail three years earlier. 

However, he has had frequent charges from the judiciary during his time at the Broncos and Warriors, leading to several suspensions.

Lodge would add to the Roosters’ middle forward rotation which has been weakened this season by injuries to Siosuia Taukeiaho, Victor Radley and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.

Victor Radley will be asked to explain his actions to NRL CEO Andrew Abdo after being caught making a lewd gesture on camera during the State of Origin celebrations on Sunday night.

Radley, who was in the NSW squad as a reserve, was caught simulating a lewd act on club and state teammate Joseph Suaalii after the Blues’ 44-12 defeat at Perth’s Optus Stadium.

Abdo told reporters at the launch of Beanie For Brain Cancer Round at the SCG on Tuesday that Radley would be asked to front him at Rugby League Central to explain his actions.

Radley is likely to face sanctions for his actions, probably a fine.

Cam Munster for Queensland

(Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Storm breathe sigh of relief over Munster injury

Maroons five-eighth Cameron Munster is likely to suit up for Origin III after scans revealed his shoulder injury was AC joint irritation.

He has been named in the Storm No.6 for their road clash with Manly on Thursday night with a final decision on his fitness likely to be made on game day.

“Thankfully it’s not as bad as first anticipated on Sunday night after the game where there were reports of a grade-three AC joint injury, that’s definitely not the case,” Storm general manager Frank Ponissi said.

“He’s more unlikely than likely but we certainly haven’t ruled him out. He’s a chance of playing on Thursday night but if he doesn’t play he’ll certainly be right for the next game.”

Maroons forward Felise Kaufusi will not play for the Storm after he was granted time off to go to the United States to be with his father, Taniela, who has been hospitalised in Los Angeles.

Ryan Papenhuyzen has been named in the reserves after knee and hamstring problems plus a recent bout of COVID-19.

He could slot in at fullback with Nick Meaney switched to five-eighth if Munster is ruled out.

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