Anthony Milford is fighting for his future at the Broncos after coach Kevin Walters admitted Brisbane's maligned million-dollar man was not playing well enough to earn a new contract.

Milford faces being shown the door at Red Hill at season's end unless he can spark a dramatic form reversal in the coming months.

In the final season of a club record $4 million four-year contract, Milford is playing for his NRL career heading into Thursday night's showdown with South Sydney at Stadium Australia.

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Milford showed some promising signs in Brisbane's Round 1 loss to Parramatta, but the five-eighth's form has once again been sporadic.

Walters said he hoped Milford could turn things around at the Broncos, but at the moment his performances didn't warrant a new deal.

"That's a work in progress, right now you'd have to say no," he said.

"We need to see 'Milf' playing better but I'm extremely confident we can get the best out of Anthony Milford.

 

"We're four weeks into a 25-round competition plus finals. We're in no hurry and Anthony's in no hurry.

"As long as we keep building and getting better, that's all I'm concerned with. It's about taking small steps.

"Everything we're doing is based around that. It's all small-picture and trying to get better each week.

"Milf has played some good football this year at stages. We are backing him all the way. He is under a lot of pressure, as is everyone in a Broncos jersey at the moment.

"It's about taking little steps at a time to improve and I feel Anthony is certainly having a crack. That's what I like about him.

 

Walters and Milford have a long history. Picture: Darren England.
Walters and Milford have a long history. Picture: Darren England.

 

"If and when I believe that stops happening then things will change."

Milford, 26, has been on a slippery slope since being arguably the best player on the field in Brisbane's 2015 grand final loss to North Queensland.

A statistical analysis revealed his output has plummeted over the past three years since he became the highest-paid player in Broncos history on a $1 million-a-season contract.

The Broncos have also struggled to find a solid halfback to partner Milford since Ben Hunt joined the Dragons in 2018.

After using Brodie Croft in the opening three rounds, Walters has retained Tom Dearden in the No. 7 jersey for the Rabbitohs game and denied there was uncertainty around his halves.

"I don't feel there's any uncertainty around our halves," he said.

"We've got two good halfbacks vying for a position. There is great competition there between them and that's what's good about the club.

"Both players have got areas in their games they are working on and moving forward to get better at.

 

 

"The plan is to get those two playing well and improve on what they've been building on. I've seen some great signs there and some areas we need to be better.

"The players are aware of that. We've had good conversations this week around the three of them (Milford included) and the role they need to play in the side.

"The competition is about trying to get better each week. I expect those guys to be better."

Also clouding Milford's future is revelations the Broncos have discussed playing Kotoni Staggs at five-eighth in 2022 if he re-signs with Brisbane.

Staggs is open to the idea of shifting from centre to the No. 6 jersey, but Walters said the club's focus was to secure his signature before deciding where he plays.

"We're really keen to hang on to Kotoni Staggs, we believe he has a bright future at the Broncos regardless of what position he plays for us," he said.

"I'm sure he can play back-row, halves and centre. He can play several positions.

 

 

 

"Right now our major focus is to retain the services of Kotoni and then we will place him somewhere in those positions over the next 12 months."

The Broncos are yet to secure any marquee recruits for 2022, with Walters declaring the club was focussed on re-signing current players.

Back-rower Jordan Riki has committed to the club long-term and the Broncos are hoping to retain Staggs, Brendan Piakura, Tesi Niu and Xavier Coates.

"We're always in the market," he said.

"You guys should know that. Every club is on the lookout if players become available.

"We will be looking, but right now we're trying to re-sign four or five of our junior players.

"That's where our major focus has been, trying to secure those guys.

"There's a big, bad world out there in the player market and my job is to coach the side. We've got other people in our organisation to look after those areas."

 

Originally published as Kevvie's brutal takedown of million-dollar Milf


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