First Ben Barba took his fullback spot, now Josh Hoffman is facing a looming battle with Anthony Milford for Brisbane’s five-eighth role.
Broncos co-captain Justin Hodges says Milford’s decision to ignore Canberra’s reported $1 million a season offer and commit to the Broncos from 2015 has ensured another tough selection call for coach Anthony Griffin.
Raiders five-eighth Milford can play fullback but the brilliant youngster will have the Broncos No.6 jersey in his sights after it emerged he will be mentored by Broncos great and ex-Test pivot Darren Lockyer upon his arrival.
That’s bad news for Kiwi international Hoffman who had just settled back into the Broncos side after former Dally M Medallist Ben Barba replaced him at fullback in the off-season.
Hoffman reportedly asked for a release when Brisbane signed ex-Bulldog Barba but agreed to honour the final two years of his deal in February after peace talks.
“He (Milford) is going to be a headache for the coach. I am glad he has to deal with it,” Hodges said.
“Having Benny at fullback and Hoffman at five-eighth it’s going to be a tough decision.
“You always find a spot for a player like that.”
It seems unlikely that Barba will be replaced at fullback by Milford despite the former Canterbury No.1’s quiet start for Brisbane.
“He’s only a game away from lighting it back up,” Hodges said of Barba.
“I think Ben’s performance under the high ball is getting better.
“It’s a matter of us giving him support and helping him.
“And the more chances they (rivals) give him in broken field play the better for us.”
Hoffman may end up being relegated to the wing due to Milford – a position in which he had tasted success for Brisbane but was hardly his first preference.
“But a guy like Anthony can play anywhere. We are just delighted to have him,” Hodges said.
“I love sitting back and watching him. He is a star of the future, a freak of a talent.”
But Hodges wasn’t as receptive when asked if Milford could have an eye on the centres.
“He might have to wait a couple of years. (Or) I might have to take him out at training,” the veteran three-quarter joked.