Wests Tigers are pleased to announce that Matthew Lodge will make his first-grade debut this afternoon against the Penrith Panthers.

Lodge will become the 176th player to play first-grade for Wests Tigers.

The 19-year-old will come off the bench against the Panthers this afternoon.

It's not too late! Be there at Leichhardt Oval this Sunday to watch Wests Tigers take on the Penrith Panthers! Tickets available at the gate!

Lodge joined Wests Tigers only a few weeks ago after being granted an immediate release by the Melbourne Storm, and made his Club debut in NYC against the Newcastle Knights.

The powerful forward played his junior football for St. Patricks Blacktown before moving to the Panthers’ junior system — making his debut this afternoon an extra special occasion.

Lodge is a powerful forward with a wealth of junior representative and NYC experience under his belt already, having played for New South Wales at an U/16, U/18 and U/20 level already in his short career.

He has also played Australian Schoolboys, and was named in NYC’s Team of the Year last year as a prop forward — despite being only 18 years old at the time.

Lodge said that making his first-grade debut this weekend was somewhat of a scary proposition, but said that he couldn’t wait to get on the field.

“It was a pretty big decision to come back here; I’m good mates with [Mitch] Moses and he’s making his debut today as well, so that’s pretty good," he said.

“To be honest, I’m pretty nervous.

“I’m just thinking about running hard and tackling hard.

“We’ll see how I go. I can’t wait to get stuck in to it.”

 

Player Profile: Matthew Lodge

D.O.B: 31st May, 1995

Height: 193cm

Weight: 110kg

Position: Prop forward

Rep. Honours: NSW U/16’s (2011), NSW U/18’s (2012), NSW U/20’s (2014)

Junior Clubs: St. Patricks Blacktown

Previous Clubs: Melbourne Storm

Instagram: @matt_lodge