STEPPING UP: Anthony Milford is relishing the extra responsibility he has shouldered for the Bronocs following the departure of Ben Hunt.
STEPPING UP: Anthony Milford is relishing the extra responsibility he has shouldered for the Bronocs following the departure of Ben Hunt. DAVE HUNT

Milford finding his voice and taking the reins

RUGBY LEAGUE: The absence of Ben Hunt has brought out the "bossier” side of Anthony Milford as he prepares to take the playmaking reins at Brisbane this season.

St George Illawarra recruit Hunt will face his former teammates for the first time in Thursday night's NRL season opener. It'll be the first time Hunt has played for anyone other than the Broncos, who first scouted him when he was just 12.

But his departure has apparently brought out the best in five-eighth Milford, his old halves partner.

Milford had an inconsistent 2017 but is relishing the extra game management responsibilities in his new combination with Kodi Nikorima, according to utility Jordan Kahu.

"He's taken a lot of ownership of his own role and really started taking charge in trainings - telling people where to go and being real adamant with things,” Kahu said.

"He's stepped into a little bit of a leadership role. He's been around for a while to do that.

"He's definitely a little bit bossier now.

"You have to be when you're in the halves.”

Broncos skipper Darius Boyd tipped Milford to also lead the verbal battle against Hunt at Jubilee Oval.

"Milf's one of those guys, you probably wouldn't think it but he doesn't mind a bit of a spray,” Boyd said.

"They obviously played in the halves together last year and the last few years.

"I'm sure if they tackle each other, there might be a few face-plants and a bit of a word.

"It's always fun playing against your mates, it makes it a bit more enjoyable when you're playing out there but at the end of the day, we've got a job to do and Benny the same for his team.”

Prop Josh McGuire said there was pressure on Hunt as well as Nikorima, who will finally get his wish to play at halfback this season after years plugging away in a bench utility role.

"They're both getting paid what they should be getting paid to be a halfback in the game and both have to just do their jobs, I guess,” he said.

AAP



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