Eligible to play for either Australia or Samoa in this year’s Rugby League World Cup, Broncos five-eighth Anthony Milford will ultimately play for neither.
According to nrl.com, the Broncos have ruled Milford out already, declaring that their star will undergo shoulder surgery at the conclusion of the Broncos’ season, in order to have him right for 2018.
“He’s no chance,” said Broncos coach Wayne Bennett. “Our intentions are for him to have surgery when the season is over.”
“There is no alternative to that. There’s no grey area.”
Though we’re the first to be critical of NRL clubs not supporting the international game – and Milford is apparently healthy enough to play for Brisbane – in this instance, we don’t think they’re at fault.
Milford is obviously not 100%, and surgery appears to be inevitable. At the end of the day, the Broncos pay his bills – if they’re willing to risk further damage to their asset in the hopes of him bringing them a premiership, that’s their decision. However, that doesn’t make them obligated to send off a badly injured star player to compete elsewhere.
Australia will just have to find somebody else to replace Johnathan Thurston at five-eighth. We hear that Cameron Munster bloke goes alright.