Exclusive: NRL star Anthony Milford edges towards u-turn on Super League move

Aaron Bower
Anthony Milford, Dolphins, Super League

Anthony Milford celebrates his try against St George Illawarra Dragons during Round 13. (AAP Image/Alamy - Jono Searle)

Leigh Leopards’ pursuit of Anthony Milford appears to be nearing an end, with a deal to sign the half-back now looking increasingly unlikely, Love Rugby League understands.

The Leopards had been interested in striking a deal for the Dolphins man for the 2024 season, with Milford seen as their top target in terms of finding a direct replacement for Featherstone Rovers-bound Ben Reynolds.

However, despite promising talks in recent weeks between all parties, Milford now looks likely to remain in Australia.

Love Rugby League has been told that while a deal is not completely off the table, Milford’s preference appears to be to stay in the NRL owing to family reasons.

He was keen to make the switch and test himself in Super League, with Leigh prepared to offer a significant financial package to make the deal happen, but the move has now taken a backwards step and appears to be on the brink of falling through.

NRL star Anthony Milford makes u-turn on Super League move as Leigh Leopards forced to dip back into overseas market

The playmaker has spent his entire career in the NRL, making over 200 appearances in Australia’s top-flight during a career that has also seen him represent Queensland and Samoa.

Leigh coach Adrian Lam admitted last month that Milford was a player he would be interested in adding to his squad if the opportunity arose, but remained tight-lipped on the chances of a deal being struck.

“It’s a name that’s popped up, and I’ve had people contacting me about him,” he said.

“He’s a player that I’d like to talk to and potentially get in if it can work, but we haven’t made that contact yet, so nothing’s come of it.”

Leigh are now set to turn their attention to other targets for next season after Milford’s off-field situation led to a deal collapsing.

They were initially interested in Brodie Croft and had offered a significant six-figure transfer fee, but eventually stepped away from that deal, which opened the door for Croft to join Leeds Rhinos in a deal worth around a fee believed to be in the region of £175,000.

With one quota spot remaining that was initially set aside for Milford’s arrival, the Leopards will likely continue to shop in the overseas market to find their partner for Lachlan Lam in 2024.

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