Milford signs for Broncos, Hoffman looking for out
Brisbane have confirmed in-demand teenager Anthony Milford will link with the NRL club in 2015 after seeing out his Canberra contract next year, ending months of speculation.
But rumours are only expected to intensify about Broncos fullback Josh Hoffman's future.
Hoffman was believed to be unhappy about the Broncos signing former Bulldogs No 1 Ben Barba for next year.
And his mood was reportedly not improved by Brisbane teammate Justin Hodges claiming Hoffman was "not the right guy" to be the NRL club's fullback.
The Bulldogs' New Zealand contingent are believed to be chewing the Kiwi fullback's ear at the World Cup.
Adding weight to the claims are social media pictures in which Hoffman has appeared under a fan's Bulldogs flag alongside New Zealand's Canterbury players Sam Kasiano, Frank Pritchard, Greg Eastwood and Krisnan Inu after their World Cup semi-final win over England.
Broncos coach Anthony Griffin was on Wednesday in no mood to discuss Hoffman after proudly announcing Milford's two-year deal.
Griffin tried to keep things light when asked about Hoffman appearing in the Bulldogs Instagram picture.
"I don't know how to use Instagram," he smiled.
Asked if he believed Canberra fullback Milford's signing would create complications with Hoffman, Griffin said: "Not from my end, you would have to speak to his agent but it is not a concern from mine."
But when pressed on Hoffman, Griffin said: "We have come here to talk about Anthony Milford.
"You've been having a lot of fun with Josh and other people commenting on it so I will let you keep going with that.
"But I am here to speak about Anthony."
Hoffman's manager Paul Hogan reiterated that his client - who is contracted at the Broncos until the end of 2015 - would discuss his future once he returned from World Cup duty.
Griffin said their World Cup players would return in early January.
At least Milford's signing avoided one potentially awkward standoff.
Milford had requested a release on compassionate grounds to link with the Broncos in 2014, relating to the health concerns of his father Halo.
Milford's management had threatened legal action or even an NRL boycott if the release was not granted.
But Milford decided to honour the remaining year of his Canberra contract.
Griffin said it was too early to predict where the young utility would slot into the Broncos line-up.
His more immediate concern was finding a new five-eighth - a role Brisbane had hoped Milford could fill next year.
Griffin said Hoffman, Barba, Jordan Kahu and Redcliffe youngster Zac Strasser were already in the mix to partner halfback Ben Hunt.
"That is something we will sort through in the off season," he said.