Their last partnership took them all the way to an NRL Grand Final, and now current Knights half Anthony Milford looks set to reunite with former coach Wayne Bennett at the Dolphins, with wide-ranging reports that a two-year deal is imminent.
Under Bennett, Milford received the largest deal in Brisbane Broncos’ history when he became a million-dollar player in 2017. That deal followed two strong seasons that resulted in a 2015 grand final appearance where the five-eighth was arguably best on ground.
But things quickly soured in the Queensland capital. Bennett was acrimoniously sacked at the end of 2018 in a hasty and spiteful move that began Anthony Seibold’s ill-fated tenure at the Broncos.
In 2019 Milford was swapped between the halves and fullback – a role he hadn’t played at NRL level since his early days in Canberra – and as form waned and injuries occurred amid off-field issues, he was scapegoated as a contributing factor for the slump.
He wasn’t offered a contract extension at Red Hill and after some time away from the game, made his debut for Newcastle in Round 11 – against his former club. Though he hasn't been able to turn results around for the beleaguered Knights, he has still impressed with his attitude and application.
According to Channel 9s Ben Dobbin, Milford has signed a two-year deal with the Redcliffe-based club after being chased by the Dolphins and Knights in a two-way battle.
The club are yet to confirm the news, with it originally reported that the Dolphins would need to offer Milford a three-year term to take him away from the Knights, who were desperate to keep the half.
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Milford hasn’t played more than 13 games in a season since before the pandemic, but it’s not hard to remember how damaging he can be at his best. At just 28 years old, it’s clear Bennett believes he can still get plenty out of his former student.
Milford would become the 25th signing for the NRL’s newest club, joining an attacking unit that also includes Sean O’Sullivan, Jamayne Isaako and former Brisbane halves partner Kodi Nikorima.