Sport

Milford likely to play in the halves for Broncos

TALENTED TEEN: Anthony Milford will swap his Canberra Raiders jersey for a Broncos one from next season.
TALENTED TEEN: Anthony Milford will swap his Canberra Raiders jersey for a Broncos one from next season. Grant Trouville

IT WON'T matter where the Broncos decide to play Anthony Milford, so long as he keeps working hard at his game.

Just don't expect him to be the next Allan Langer.

Those are the thoughts of Ipswich great and current Newcastle Knights assistant coach Kevin Walters.

Milford announced yesterday that he would leave the Canberra Raiders at the end of this season to join the Brisbane Broncos.

It enables the Riverview product and former St Peter Claver College student to return to the family home.

But with Ben Barba at fullback for the Broncos, it seems Milford will have to slot into the halves at Red Hill.

"It's really good news for the Broncos," Walters said of Milford's impending return to Queensland.

"He's a good young player.

"He's got a lot of talent.

"But he's prepared to work hard with his talent.

"He's got a really good attitude towards everything."

Milford only made his NRL top-grade debut in round five last year, but such was his impact he was named the Canberra Raiders Player of the Year.

Good judges rate him one of the most talented players to break into the NRL in recent years.

But Walters said it was work ethic and ability to continue to learn that was the hallmark of the best players.

"Everyone's got the ability," Walters said.

"You don't get to that level without it."

It was Walters who made the call to move the Raiders fullback to halfback for the Queensland Under 20s in their game against NSW U20s earlier this month.

But Walters does not necessarily believe his future lies in the halves.

He played him there because he felt the side needed him there more than at fullback.

"He's obviously a great fullback, but with injuries and a lack of players available, I thought it was better for the team to play him at halfback," Walters said.

At St Peter Claver College, Milford played predominantly in the number six jersey, but such was his ability that "he played everywhere, really", his school coach Todd Riggs said.

Walters played five-eighth for Queensland and Australia and led the Broncos to a premiership triumph from halfback, so he is as well placed as anyone to pass judgement.

"It's up to the Broncos where they play him," Walters said.

"It's a tough question to ask.

"He's got to fit into the 17, so it depends where it best suits the team.

"But he's a young guy and he can adapt."

Topics:  anthony milford brisbane broncos canberra raiders footy tipping nrl



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