Broncos turn up heat on struggling Milford

Playmaker Anthony Milford won't be returning to Brisbane's NRL side just yet.
Playmaker Anthony Milford won't be returning to Brisbane's NRL side just yet.

Kevin Walters dropped million-dollar man Anthony Milford to reserve grade last week but said it will take a lot more than what he delivered for Souths Logan to get him back into the NRL side.

For the second week in a row the ex-Queensland Origin star has not been named in Brisbane's NRL side as he fights for not just his spot, but his future at the club.

Last week was the first time in Milford's 185-game NRL career he was dropped to reserve grade, but it didn't have the immediate impact Walters was looking for.

The Magpies were done 39-22 by Norths Devils with Walters watching on - and he wasn't impressed.

Milford had seven runs for 85 metres, three-tacklebreaks, a missed tackle and an error in the loss.

"Last week, it was a tough game," Walters said on Thursday.

"I was out at Souths and watched it ... if I was to be honest, no he wasn't up to the standard that we believe he can play at.

"But that's one game of four or five, however many it takes for him to get back to the football we know he can play."

Without him the Broncos put in their best performance of the season in their loss to Penrith last week.

And coupled with Milford's performance for Souths Logan, it makes his path back into the NRL side even more difficult.

"It won't be my decision, it will be Anthony's decision as to whether he makes his way back into the team or not," Walters said.

"He has been given some clear instructions about what he needs to do. When he does that he will be back into the side.

"He needs to continue to do what Milf can do well and that's the points I made about ends of sets, and running game and defence."

Off-contract at the end of the season, Milford is looking at a significant pay cut if he is to stay at the Broncos as he's indicated he wants to do.

His axing from the NRL side comes as the Broncos look to cement their halves combination for next year and beyond.

Off-contract halfback Tom Dearden has been linked to North Queensland although the Broncos are confident of retaining him, while Adam Reynolds and Mitch Moses have both been on the club's radar.

Moses has an option in his favour to stay with Parramatta next season and has less than three weeks to enact it as the sides prepare to face off in Darwin on Friday night.

It will give the Broncos an up close look at the Eels halfback, although Walters denied he was interested.

"Nah, we are very happy with our situation at the moment ... trying to sign Kotoni and having a good look at Tommy Dearden as well," he said.

"He is part of our systems so at this stage we are not looking outside the circle.

"We don't anticipate losing Tom."

Australian Associated Press