Anthony Milford could replace Johnathan Thurston for Origin game one.
Anthony Milford could replace Johnathan Thurston for Origin game one. DAVE HUNT

Time for Milford to prove Worth, says teammate

BRONCOS teammate Andrew McCullough has warned Anthony Milford he needs to prove he is the man to replace Johnathan Thurston for Queensland if the star five-eighth is ruled out of the State of Origin opener on May 31.

Thurston injured his shoulder in the Anzac Test win over New Zealand and could be out of the first game against New South Wales at Suncorp Stadium.

While McCullough was in no doubt Milford would cope with the pressure of Origin, he said the 22-year-old still had work to do at NRL level, starting with the game against Manly and fellow Queensland hopeful Daly Cherry-Evans in Brisbane on Saturday.

"Anthony needs to perform every week - not just against Daly this weekend but for the next month or so," McCullough said.

"Good form against quality halves each week is what he needs to do.

"He's been around a while now, he's played in some big games.

"He's a quality player but there's a few things in Anthony's game he knows he needs to work on to be up there in State of Origin calculations.

"If he gets that right, the rest will take care of itself.

"He's obviously a tremendous player but it's up to Kevie (Walters) and their coaching staff (to figure out) what fits their team, or if they think he can fit in."

McCullough said Milford had certainly grown and become a more dominant player.

"He's had to be, with Kodi (Nikorima) coming in fresh, not having played halfback for a fair while now," the Broncos hooker said.

"Anthony's got a pretty simple game plan, he doesn't have to direct the team a whole lot, but he's definitely been a lot more verbal out there."

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