The Broncos have expressed an interest in a Cowboys playmaker as pressure builds on Brisbane’s marquee man Anthony Milford to fire this season.
The Broncos have expressed an interest in a Cowboys playmaker as pressure builds on Brisbane’s marquee man Anthony Milford to fire this season.

Broncos eye classy Cowboy as pressure builds on Milf

The Broncos have Cowboys playmaker Scott Drinkwater on their radar as Brisbane's underfire $1 million man Anthony Milford fights for his future at Red Hill.

The Courier-Mail can reveal the Broncos are one of four NRL rivals to have expressed interest in Drinkwater at a time when the off-contract Milford is under pressure to convince Brisbane bosses he is worth a new deal beyond this season.

The composition of Brisbane's playmaking spine is the most contentious issue for new Broncos coach Kevin Walters, with Jamayne Isaako unproven at fullback and Milford under the pump at five-eighth after three inconsistent seasons.

The 23-year-old Drinkwater is off-contract at season's end and his management will fly to Townsville on Thursday to ramp-up negotiations with Cowboys hierarchy.

 

Cowboys playmaker Scott Drinkwater is on the Broncos’ radar. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Cowboys playmaker Scott Drinkwater is on the Broncos’ radar. Picture: Alix Sweeney

 

This time last year, Drinkwater was crowned the player-of-the-tournament after steering the Cowboys to the NRL Nines title and he is one of the most the NRL's most versatile playmakers, capable of playing fullback, five-eighth and halfback.

The Cowboys are keen to secure Drinkwater to a new deal but the threat of a Broncos poaching raid will ring alarm bells for Milford, who suffered a broken hand last week in another setback for Brisbane's highest-paid player.

Milford is facing a major pay cut to his Broncos club record $1 million deal, while the classy Drinkwater would come at half the cost as Brisbane, Cronulla, the Dragons and Warriors circle the former Storm utility.

 

Anthony Milford is facing a major pay cut next season.
Anthony Milford is facing a major pay cut next season.

 

Broncos assistant coach Terry Matterson said Milford needs to lift this season as Walters ponders the playmaking formula that can snap the club's 15-year premiership drought.

"There's no doubt it's a big year for 'Milf'," he said.

"It's been a lean spell, not only for him but the club as well.

"Milf's running game is important for us. Tom Dearden (halfback) can get us around the field but when Milf is running the footy, we will be a better football team.

"Milf's kicking game is important as well. We all struggled defensively (last season), including Milf, but when he is on his game he can be a good defender."

Drinkwater has played 27 NRL games since his debut for the Storm in 2018. He was a shining light for the Cowboys in their dismal campaign last season, finishing fifth in the NRL for most try assists with 19, although he struggled in defence, missing 56 tackles.

 

Scott Drinkwater has attracted plenty of interest from rival clubs. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Scott Drinkwater has attracted plenty of interest from rival clubs. Picture: Alix Sweeney

 

But there is no doubting his promise as a playmaker after toying with opponents to lead the Cowboys to NRL Nines glory last year.

"I will be catching up with my agent this week to discuss my future," Drinkwater said.

"Toddy (Payten, head coach) and 'Youngy' (assistant Dean Young) have been great. I am really enjoying training and look forward to the year ahead."

Drinkwater's agent Chris Orr confirmed the Cowboys ace is a man in demand.

"'Drinky' is a rare talent," he said. "There are a number of teams who have expressed interest in securing his services, however I will meet with the Cowboys this week to confirm their position."

 

 

 

Originally published as Broncos eye classy Cowboy as pressure builds on Milf


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