Walters warns Milford


BRISBANE: Anthony Milford’s future at the Broncos is under threat with coach Kevin Walters declaring the five-eighth has yet to perform well enough to secure a contract to stay at the club beyond 2021.
In perhaps his boldest comments yet about the off-contract and maligned A$1 million (K2.68 million) marquee man, Walters said Milford had much improvement to make in his game if he was to secure a new deal to stay at Red Hill.
While the rookie coach is backing the 26-year-old former Origin play-maker to up his performance to warrant an extension, Walters is remaining firm that the efforts in the opening month of the NRL season for just one win are not nearly good enough for the Broncos.
“I think that’s a work in progress, right now you’d have to say no,” Walters said when asked bluntly if Milford’s first month was enough to warrant a new deal.
“We need to see Milford playing better but I am extremely confident we can get the best out of him.
“We are four weeks into a 25-round competition plus finals, we are in no hurry (to strike a deal) and Anthony is in no hurry.
“As long as we can keep building and getting better, that is all I am concerned with.
“It’s just taking the small steps and I feel everything we are doing is based around that.
“There is no long big-picture stuff, it’s all small picture and trying to get better each week.
“If and when I believe that stops happening then things will change.
“He certainly does (value his position in the team) that is why he is still in the team.
“I don’t listen to the outside noise, I know what’s happening inside with what we’re trying to achieve.
“Milf has played some good football this year at different stages so we’re backing him.
“We’re backing all of our players to come up with the right answers at the right times, he is under a lot of pressure as everyone is in the Broncos jersey at the moment.
“I feel that Anthony is buying into everything we’re trying to do and he is certainly in there having a crack and that’s what I like about him. His attitude has been great again this week. He is fully aware of what is going on and what is required of him in the team.”
While Walters’ immediate focus is on South Sydney tonight, it’s impossible to escape how his future team is taking shape with half Tom Dearden and injured centre Kotoni Staggs the subject of fierce bidding wars.
Meanwhile, Rabbitohs veteran Benji Marshall has taken the No.6 jersey in place of the suspended Cody Walker while Jacob Host will come into the back row for Keaon Koloamatangi (also suspended).
Broncos centre Herbie Farnworth is out due to shoulder soreness with Richie Kennar coming into the centres.
Patrick Carrigan is out suspended, with Tevita Pangai Jr named to start at lock. – NRL