Anthony Milford says he is humbled but staying grounded after Johnathan Thurston all but anointed him as the heir to his Queensland State of Origin playmaking throne.
Milford enjoyed arguably his finest NRL moment last week, booting the winning field goal from 40m out to cap off a lively performance in Friday night’s thrilling 21-20 golden point win over North Queensland.
His silky display prompted Thurston to concede it is now only a matter of time until Milford makes his Maroons debut – although it won’t be this year, due to his suspension for breaking a team curfew in January along with seven other Emerging Origin players, including Broncos halves partner Ben Hunt.
Milford said he was honoured to receive such high praise from such a lofty source.
“It’s obviously very humbling to get that from one of the best players in the game,” Milford told AAP.
“It comes down to the pre-seasons that I’ve been having here. They’ve really pushed me week in, week out in training sessions and things like that.
“And Benny Hunt and Darius Boyd help complete the player I am.
“I’m not getting too far ahead of myself, I just go out there to go and do a job for the boys, the Broncos and the fans.”
The 21-year-old said the field goal was “by far” the longest he’s ever kicked in a game and a moment he will cherish for the rest of his career.
“My family had it on the telly straight away when I got home,” he said.
“I didn’t really look at it properly until I saw the video, but I was quite (a long way) out, a fair bit. I’m just lucky it sailed over.”
Meanwhile, Milford defended Hunt’s low key start to the season, the No.7 so far unable to recapture the running ability that saw him emerge as one of the competition’s most lethal halfbacks in 2015.
“Last year I had a real slow start to the year and we saw how that all finished off,” he said.
“We were lucky enough to go as far from the grand final.
“I think he’s not too far away from having a big game and fingers crossed it’s this weekend.”