Darius Boyd(left) and Antony Milford (centre) are set to swamp positions against the Newcastle Knights on Saturday.
Darius Boyd(left) and Antony Milford (centre) are set to swamp positions against the Newcastle Knights on Saturday.

Locky weighs in on Seibold’s million-dollar gamble

AFTER Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold's huge call to switch Anthony Milford and Darius Boyd against the Knights on Saturday, Darren Lockyer has a warning for the Broncos stars.

Seibold has dropped the biggest selection bombshell of his career, switching fullback Darius Boyd and five-eighth Milford in the ultimate $1 million gamble for the encounter at McDonald Jones Stadium.

When Brisbane handed Milford the richest deal in their history two years ago - a four-year contract worth $4 million - he was viewed as the playmaking wizard who would deliver the Broncos' first title since 2006.

But with the Broncos languishing in 12th with a 5-8 record, Seibold will pitchfork Boyd into the frontline and move Milford to the backfield in a desperate bid to keep Brisbane's finals hopes alive.

Lockyer, Brisbane's last premiership-winning captain, excelled in both positions during his decorated career.

The 355-game icon believes Milford may relish the attacking freedom from the back, but says Newcastle will look to exploit his diminutive 176cm frame by bombing him at every opportunity.

"It's a calculated risk,"  Lockyer said of the Milford-Boyd switch.

"I have no doubt the Knights will put some bombs up to test him, so let's see what Milford has got.

"It's a major shift for the team.

"Darius has played fullback for so long and Milford has been going OK at six, but going to the back might be the key to unlocking Anthony's athletic spark."

Milford has copped brickbats for his inconsistency at five-eighth, while Boyd has lost his mojo at fullback, with Queensland legend Paul Vautin labelling the skipper's defence "abysmal" earlier this season.

Boyd's move to pivot is equally compelling.

Just six weeks ago, Boyd declared his best position was fullback, saying: "Moving me to another position would not suit our side."

But the skipper added that he would be prepared to play elsewhere at Seibold's instruction - and the coach has decided it is time for change.

Seibold's stance marks a philosophical shift from his Broncos predecessor Wayne Bennett, who last year declared Boyd did not have the skill set to play five-eighth.

Anthony Milford can expect to see some high bombs coming his way. Picture: Annette Dew
Anthony Milford can expect to see some high bombs coming his way. Picture: Annette Dew

Asked if Milford would start at fullback after training there during the week, Seibold was cryptic.

"You guys turn up to training during the week so you should be able to get a decent enough picture of where they're going to play," he said.

"I'm not going to comment on positions publicly before the game, I don't need to.

"You guys have been at training on Tuesday and Thursday, so I'm happy for you guys to work it out."

Lockyer, who successfully shifted from fullback to five-eighth, said Milford might benefit from a lesser defensive workload.

"Where we sit on the ladder, what we are doing is not getting results so I guess the coach is looking at different ways to get the team going," he said.

"Going back to fullback, Milf won't be doing as much tackling, so that will leave him fresh for attack.

"Defensively, he has to make sure he's in the right spot and making sure he is communicating to his players from the back.

"That's the biggest change for Milf."

News Corp Australia


It can happen to anyone ...

It can happen to anyone ...

YOU have breast cancer. The words no one ever wants to hear.

GONE: Coffs Harbour merger pulls out before bowling a ball

premium_icon GONE: Coffs Harbour merger pulls out before bowling a ball

COFFS Harbour have pulled out of the North Coast Premier League.

Coffs Harbour's grandstand view to Elton John shows

premium_icon Coffs Harbour's grandstand view to Elton John shows

WIN: Premier seats to an Elton John Coffs Harbour concert.