NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 29: Anthony Milford of the Brisbane Broncos runs the ball during the round 15 NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Brisbane Broncos at McDonald Jones Stadium on June 29, 2019 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)

Anthony Milford's hopes of playing NRL in 2022 may not be over after all, with the former Broncos' half being linked in a shock potential move to the Newcastle Knights.

Milford's time in Brisbane ended in ugly fashion, with the half told he wouldn't be offered a new contract with the club following a form drop off in the last few years.

The Broncos spent the final two years of Milford's big-money tenure languishing in the bottom four, with a rotating door next to him in the halves.

It was hardly a surprise that the Broncos looked to take a new direction for 2022, with Kevin Walters signing Adam Reynolds to steer the ship alongside either Tyson Gamble, Albert Kelly, Billy Walters or young gun Ezra Mam.

The South Sydney Rabbitohs then picked up Milford on a one-year deal, however, an off-field legal issue for an alleged incident before his move to Sydney and a following court case which is yet to be resolved has seen the NRL refuse to register Milford's contract - a decision the Rabbitohs agreed with.

It means Milford has moved back to Brisbane and seemed resigned to the fact he wouldn't be playing first-grade rugby league in 2022, with Wayne Bennett and the Dolphins reportedly locked in discussions with Milford over a contract for 2023.

But those hopes may have received a new lifeline, provided Milford can clear his off-field legal issue.

News Corp are reporting that the Newcastle Knights have been linked with Milford for 2022.

The Knights are reportedly denying any discussions have taken place, however, the report suggests that the situation is "developing" and that Milford could end up at the Knights following any clearance from the NRL before linking up with Bennett's Dolphins in 2023.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 27: Wayne Bennett poses for a photo with the revealing of the Dolphins Heritage Round jersey during a Dolphins NRL press conference at Suncorp Stadium on October 27, 2021 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Newcastle have four spots available on their roster, but more importantly, are yet to settle on a halves partner for Jake Clifford, who will take over running the team following Mitchell Pearce's departure to the English Super League.

It's understood Adam Clune has the inside running for the spot, while Phoenix Crossland is set to be turned into a utility, which leaves Simi Sasagi on the outer.

Clune's arrival is a boost for the Knights, however, they could still be looking for a more experienced NRL option like Milford to partner Clifford.

Milford's court case - where he will defend three counts of assault occasioning bodily harm and one count of wilful damage involving a vehicle - follows an alleged incident in Fortitude Valley last September. The case is set to be mentioned in court next month, however, it's likely to only give a trial start date, meaning the timeline on any link with the Knights is unknown.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Jeez, the Knights must be desperate to even consider trying to get him given he failed at Brisbane and is now facing legal action that could see him banned. It’s not like he’s an Adam Reynolds who can just slot in an do a job.

    He is a guy that will need a lot of technical coaching and ego stroking to redevelop his confidence. He is the archetype of a High Maintenance player.

    If the Knights are that desperate for 2022 they should try going to Cronulla and seeing if they can pick up young Metcalf on a 12 month deal (before he goes to the Warriors in 2023).

    Metcalf would probably jump at the chance for first grade football every week, and the Sharks would probably welcome a “transfer fee” and a bit less pressure on the cap. It’s not as if the Sharks don’t have depth in their halves roster.

  2. Yep OldHarry. So many ‘ifs’ in this decision by the Knights. The first is getting an NRL contract registered. They won’t get any compo for Brailey so he would have to be very cheap. Even then…

  3. No one wants milford at Redchiffle Dolphins , he needs 2 more on. Bennett needs to be loyal 2 the young blokes from Qcup team reddy team. Have a look at the talent that has come out of reddy in the time : legends like Beatson , crocker , tate ,an young players now staggs , turpin and many many more i can go on with another 50 more top players in the NRL.

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