Queensland boss Peter Betros has dismissed Samoa’s threat to pick Anthony Milford for next month’s Pacific Test as wishful thinking.
All eyes will be on Milford in Friday night’s NRL clash with South Sydney after Wayne Bennett claimed the Brisbane pivot could improve on last round’s masterclass in their 53-0 win over Newcastle.
It appears Samoa coach Matt Parish has also been running the rule over Milford despite the Broncos livewire five-eighth pledging his allegiance to Queensland and Australia.
Parish said he’ll pick Milford for their May 7 Pacific Test against Tonga in Parramatta if he is overlooked by Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga for their one-off clash with New Zealand next month.
“I’ll name the strongest 17 I can, which of course includes Anthony,” Parish told Fox Sports.
If Milford renews ties with Samoa he won’t be eligible to play for Australia until after the 2017 World Cup.
Betros believed the next representative team Milford would be running around with was Queensland.
“As far as I know he has made himself available to Queensland and Australia so I don’t know how he would be available for Samoa,” Betros told AAP.
“It will be up to Anthony but if he did that (play for Samoa) he will be excluding future opportunities.
“He’s in the Queensland system.
“I think Samoa are hoping more than anything.
“I don’t think it is a real concern.”
Milford played for Samoa at the 2013 World Cup but switched his allegiances the next year in a bid to be eligible for State of Origin.
It led to the awkward situation in which he played for the Queensland under-20s in a curtain-raiser to Samoa’s World Cup qualifier against Fiji in May 2014.
It led to calls for players from second tier nations to be able to play for their home country if they miss out on Origin or Kangaroos selection.
Milford won’t play for Queensland this year after being banned for breaking curfew at the Emerging Maroons camp.
He will also be ignored for next month’s one-off Test against the Kiwis in Newcastle after coach Mal Meninga confirmed he won’t be selecting any rookies.
“Mal is saying he will only go with experienced players in a one off Test and I don’t think he needs to pick Anthony at this stage,” Betros said.
“It would be disappointing if players were picked for Australia if they were ineligible for Origin this year.”
Betros was not concerned about Queensland’s backline stocks ahead of June’s Origin opener despite Milford, Billy Slater (shoulder), Justin Hodges (retirement) and Will Chambers (broken leg) being available.
“I still think they will have a difficult time come selection time,” he said.