SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 06: Anthony Milford of Samoa celebrates with team mates after scoring a try during the 2017 Pacific Test Invitational match between England and Samoa at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on May 6, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

The Newcastle Knights have confirmed Anthony Milford will leave the club at the end of the 2022 season.

The Knights and Dolphins have been in a two-way race for the five-eighth's services, however, the lure to play under Wayne Bennett and return to Queensland appears to have won out.

The Dolphins are yet to confirm the news from their end, however, a short statement released by the Knights on Monday afternoon confirmed the Samoan representative, who only played his first game for the Knights in Round 11 this year, will leave the club for Queensland at the end of the year on a multi-year deal.

"Newcastle Knights player Anthony Milford has today informed the club he will depart Newcastle at the end of the 2022 National Rugby League season after accepting a multi-year deal to return home to play in Queensland next season," the statement read.

"Milford joined the Knights in April this year, making his club debut against the Brisbane Broncos in Round 11, along with his 200th NRL appearance against Manly on Saturday night.

"The Knights would like to wish Anthony and his family all the best for the future."

Milford was originally supposed to play for the South Sydney Rabbitohs this year on a one-year deal after he finished his time with the Brisbane Broncos, however, an off-field matter prevented his contract from being registered.

He would ultimately join the Knights once he was approved to return by the NRL, and is set to play for Samoa at the end of season Rugby League World Cup.

It was understood Milford had a handshake deal in place with the Dolphins some time ago, however, the Knights, impressed by his efforts both on and off the field, wanted to keep him at the club on a long-term deal.

The signing will go down as a win for the Dolphins, with Milford now set to link up with Sean O'Sullivan in what will be the club's first halves pairing when they run onto the field for the first time as the NRL's 17th team next year.

Bennett and Milford have history, with Milford playing in the 2015 grand final alongside Ben Hunt in the halves for the Brisbane Broncos while Bennett was coach, although the Red Hill-based outfit would ultimately fall to the North Queensland Cowboys in golden point.