The Newcastle Knights have confirmed that Anthony Milford's contract has been lodged to the NRL, but Peter V'Landys and the Australian Rugby League Commission are not ready to register it yet.
The Knights interest in Milford comes after speculation has surrounded the club for months, with Milford likely to slot straight into the halves alongside Jake Clifford if he were to be signed.
It appeared the deal was a mere formality during the week when he had three charges of assault cleared by the court, while a lesser charge of public nuisance and wilful damage saw Milford plead guilty. He was placed on a two-year, $1000 good behaviour bond with no conviction recorded by the court.
It was then reported that the Knights had contacted the integrity unit to find out the next steps, while Knights recruitment chief Clint Zammit told media yesterday that a contract has been lodged with the NRL.
"We have lodged a contract for Anthony Milford and we are waiting to hear back from the NRL," Knights recruitment chief Clint Zammit also told Brisbane media.
"Hopefully Anthony can play for us this season."
Milford has received high level support from his former coach Wayne Bennett, and the man who was supposed to coach him at the Rabbitohs this year in Jason Demetriou, however, Peter V'Landys told Fox Sports the NRL had seen the video of the incident, which was captured on CCTV, and were now determining through their own investigation whether Milford would be able to play.
“We have to determine if he’s a fit and proper person to play the game and at the moment there’s a video of the incident and one thing we don’t tolerate is domestic violence, we will not tolerate any violence towards women,” V’Landys said.
“I haven’t seen the video to be quite frank but I’m told it’s not good. The integrity unit have seen it.
“The board don’t involve itself in the day to day administration of these things, it just sets the policy so that’s why I haven’t seen it.
“But the board’s policy is we do not tolerate any violence against women or children.
“Management handle that (final decision) and it’ll be determined on its merits.”
It's understood the NRL will not rush into a decision, which could leave Milford on the sideline for the foreseeable future despite the Knights wanting to register his contract for the remainder of 2022, and the Dolphins reportedly interested for 2023.