Redcliffe sign Lodge, Kharwin and Teteh
Intrust Super Cup minor premiers Redcliffe have made some significant additions to their roster for 2017 with the signings of Matthew Lodge, Obed Kharwin and Papua New Guinea international Thompson Teteh.
Beaten by Burleigh in the grand final in September, Redcliffe have lost dynamic back-rower Anthony Cherrington to the Rabbitohs and halfback Darren Nicholls to the Penrith Panthers but in their place have brought in three players with very distinctive histories.
It was only 18 months ago that Lodge represented the Australian Schoolboys against New Zealand on the Gold Coast but an alcohol-fuelled incident whilst on holidays in New York 12 months ago was his latest off-field incident and put his rugby league career in serious jeopardy.
Broncos coach Wayne Bennett reached out to the now 21-year-old who has previously spent time at the Melbourne Storm and Wests Tigers but any addition to his six NRL games to date would first need approval from the governing body.
The story of Kharwin is a vastly different one, an African refugee from the Ivory Coast who grew up surrounded by the horrors of a civil war before trekking for a month with his family to reach the relative safety of Guinea.
At the age of eight he arrived in Australia and in addition to finding sanctuary from the war raging at home, discovered rugby league through the Blacktown PCYC Spartans and went on to play 30 games for the Tigers in the National Youth Competition, scoring 37 tries.
With Kharwin on one wing the addition of Teteh in the centres will make Redcliffe one of the most exciting teams to watch in 2017.
Teteh first represented Papua New Guinea against Fiji in 2015 and has been a standout for the Hunters the past two seasons, his move to Redcliffe putting him firmly in the sights of NRL clubs.
"Thompson is an international-quality centre who will add strike, speed and power to our backline," said Dolphins Football General Manager Grant Cleal.
"As we have seen through crowd numbers at Intrust Super Cup games when the Hunters play here, there is a large number of PNG expats who live in suburban Brisbane.
"Their supporters can now see one of their own play for the Village Motors Dolphins, live every week rather than once or twice a season."
The other notable addition for the Dolphins is former Redcliffe junior and Bronco and Titan NRL representative, David Hala.