Loyal Lowrie thanks Warriors for smooth exit
He's a loyal clubman who just happens to have arrived at his fifth NRL club but Todd Lowrie admits that having to walk away from the Warriors just one year into his contract was the most difficult departure he has had to make.
The Brisbane Broncos will be Lowrie's fifth NRL club having started his career at Newcastle in 2003 and stopping off at Parramatta, Melbourne and the Warriors along the way. He's grateful for the opportunity to join one of the game's biggest clubs but says getting his family to south-east Queensland was the primary reason for seeking a release from the Warriors.
Players such as Ben Barba and Anthony Milford have sought releases on the basis of 'compassionate grounds' with varying levels of success in the past 12 months but Lowrie said that perceptions of the rugby league public was never of concern to him.
"To be perfectly honest I didn't really care what people thought," the 30-year-old Hunter Valley product told NRL.com. "I've got certain things going on that are more important than people's opinions so it really doesn't bother me too much.
"In saying that, it has been a bit of a topical thing at the moment but I was just thankful for the Warriors understanding the situation and what was going on. They were fantastic and made me not question or doubt the decision at all.
"My family needed to be in Brisbane and I was lucky enough to get an opportunity at the Broncos. The need to be in south-east Queensland was the most important thing and I was lucky enough to get a start here and really thankful to the Warriors for letting me go."
Lowrie declined to speak on the circumstances surrounding his request for a release but paid special tribute to Warriors coach Matthew Elliott for his compassion through a difficult period.
"It's something that I wasn't overly comfortable with," Lowrie said of his request for a release. "I'd like to see myself as a pretty loyal clubman who gives my best everywhere I go but I've found myself at a few clubs now.
"The club was aware of the situation, certainly the coach was aware of the situation. I'd been talking to him and I can't thank Matty enough for his support through it all and the circumstances involved in me moving. He was really good and made things as comfortable as he could for me.
"It still wasn't an easy thing but family comes first and he was very good with that and very understanding."
Lowrie, his wife Sally and their two children are now getting accustomed to life as Queenslanders and the veteran of 184 NRL games has put his hand up to help lead the Broncos back to finals football.
Due to some minor knee surgery Lowrie has had only limited time on the training paddock with his new teammates thus far but is all too aware that Broncos fans expect more of their team than the 12th place finish in 2013.
"There is certainly a lot of expectation in this city for the Broncos to do well," Lowrie admitted. "I think that's a really good thing but it's something that us as players and a club have to live up to I guess. They obviously had a pretty ordinary year by their own admission and their own standards last year so there's a lot of expectation for us to improve.
"Looking at the Broncos from the outside, it's one of those clubs that I reckon a majority of NRL players at some stage would see as one of those big clubs that you'd like to play for. That's a good thing but with that comes expectation and you can just tell with the success throughout the years that they've got a lot of expectation here.
"It's been a little bit below par I guess the past 12 months so we have to turn things around."