THERE is an eminently straightforward way Canberra can regain the moral high ground in their dealings with Anthony Milford: offer him indefinite, paid compassionate leave.
Milford wants a release from his 2014 contract to return to Brisbane and look after his sick father, Halo. If he returns to Queensland, he would play for the Broncos.
The Raiders’ response has been say they intend to keep the 19-year-old but are concerned about his welfare and want to delay all discussions until the end of the season.
The club says it was talking to Milford about extending his contract beyond 2014. His agent, Sam Ayoub, angrily denies this. At the moment, one would suggest public sympathy is with Milford; there are more important things than football.
But if Canberra were to give Milford compassionate leave for as long as he wants it – until the end of next year if necessary – then they would be doing the right thing by him and protecting their interests at the same time.
As we said, there are more important things than football and Milford would not have to play football while he spent time with his ill dad. Surely the NRL would look favourably on the payments not counting towards the Raiders’ salary cap next season.
At the end of 2014, Milford could either sign with the Broncos or, out of gratitude to the Raiders, return to the capital if his dad is well enough.
GREAT to finally see some thawing of relations between the warring parties in the United States.
On August 24, Canada and the US Tomahawks – a team made up only of players from the establishment AMNRL – will play a double-header with the grand final of the ‘rebel’ USARL.
Australian-based Steve Johnson played a role in negotiating this ceasefire and it will hopefully lead to a ‘united’ United States going to the World Cup.
The little piece of history is to take place at AA Garthwaite Stadium in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. The USARL National Championship Match is at 3pm, the international is at six.
OK, COMMENTS time.