Milford measured up to fill Dugan's shoes
Former Raiders fullback Josh Dugan with Anthony Milford. Photo: Colleen Petch
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RAIDERS talent Anthony Milford will show his potential to be Josh Dugan's long-term replacement in the No.1 jersey when he moves to fullback in Sunday's under-20s match with the Gold Coast Titans.
For a second week, Milford will start in the centres before shifting to the custodian role for the Skilled Park clash.
Milford played predominantly in the halves last season, but faces strong competition to break into the NRL squad behind incumbents Sam Williams and Josh McCrone, with Terry Campese also not far away from returning.
Dugan's axing earlier this week opens the door for Milford to be next in line behind the impressive Reece Robinson. Milford, 18, was a standout for the Raiders' under-20s last season and is contracted until the end of next year.
Raiders coach David Furner has described the diminutive 178-centimetre Milford as having the best footwork at the club, a fact showcased when he scored two tries in an otherwise disappointing 40-16 loss to the Penrith Panthers.
Last year's grand finalists were blown away in the first half, with coach Mick Mantelli eager to address those issues during the week.
''I think a lot of our boys just had a nerve attack,'' Mantelli told the Raiders website. ''We're a young team and they just railroaded us early.
''We need to improve our middle defence … and be more aggressive out of marker.''
The Raiders will be boosted by Australian schoolboys representative Jeremy Cropper and Scott Doyle.
National Youth Competition, round two: Canberra Raiders v Gold Coast Titans at Skilled Park. Live on Fox Sports 1, 11.45am.