You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Milford signs four-year Broncos NRL deal

NZN 11/05/2017 Laine Clark

No longer distracted by contract talks, Wayne Bennett wants Anthony Milford to finally reach his full potential as a NRL superstar after ending months of speculation by signing a new four-year deal.

After a tug of war between the Broncos and Melbourne, Milford finally decided his future by re-signing with Brisbane until the end of 2021, reportedly on $1 million a season.

Bennett admitted Milford had been weighed down by speculation about his future.

However, the Broncos' coach now expected the young five-eighth to finally spread his wings and soar to star status.

"It had been weighing on his mind," Bennett said.

"(But) he's now got nothing else to worry about, has he?

"By the time he finishes his next contract, he should hopefully be one of the top players in the game."

Milford has already established himself as a top NRL player but Bennett believes it might be the tip of the iceberg.

"He is a star of the game now but there is a lot of upside in him yet," he said.

"We all know what he can do but he has to mature - that's the challenge for him now.

"He has to take more responsibility in the game as the years go by."

Bennett did not hide his relief over retaining Milford after admitting to some anxious moments during contract talks.

Melbourne reportedly offered a more-lucrative deal but Milford opted to stay with the club he joined from Canberra in 2015.

"We were always on our toes with him," Bennett said.

"We didn't want to lose him.

"It's a major signing for us. It's a four-year deal so it gives us a lot of security going forward."

Milford admitted contract talks had become drawn out.

"I have committed to the club for another four years - I am glad it is over," Milford told the Broncos' website.

In the end, Milford believed it was an easy decision to knock back a cashed-up Storm offer.

"My family is always going to be a major part of my decision," said Milford, whose parents live in Brisbane.

"It was an easy decision when it came to my family."

Milford's signing was a boost ahead of Saturday night's clash with Manly at Suncorp Stadium, part of a NRL doubleheader.

"It was about setting up my future. I wanted to be part of a big club," Milford said.

"And what excited me were the young fellas coming through the under 20s here.

"Hopefully, we can be a force and win more premierships."

Milford will go head to head with Manly's Daly Cherry-Evans on Saturday night in a State of Origin audition.

Queensland coach Kevin Walters said both were in the mix to replace Johnathan Thurston (shoulder) if the Maroons' five-eighth was not fit for the May 31 Origin series opener.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon