Milford open to fullback move for Samoa

Steve Zemek
Samoa look set to employ Anthony Milford's evasiveness at fullback against Tonga on Saturday

Anthony Milford appears set for a surprise shift to fullback for Samoa in Saturday's Pacific Test against Tonga.

After being axed by Queensland for State of Origin II, the Brisbane playmaker will turn out for Toa Samoa this weekend and he slotted in at the back during the team's training run in Sydney on Tuesday.

He spent time catching high balls and standing at the back in defence, suggesting coach Matt Parish would use him in the No.1 jersey.

However he also chimed in at first and second receiver and took on kicking duties.

Along with Milford, Samoa boast Warriors half Mason Lino and Penrith's Tyrone May, meaning they have plenty of choices in the halves.

However they have no clear fullback with Jorge Taufua, Tim Lafai, Joey Leilua, Christian Chrichton, Michael Chee Kam capable of playing in the three-quarter line but none having worn the No.1 at club level.

Milford played fullback for Samoa during the 2013 World Cup but hasn't played there since the 2014 NRL season for Canberra.

"I have no idea, I'll have to wait and see," Milford told AAP.

"The good thing is we have a lot of depth and we can put players where they want. We'll see which combinations work better and see how we go in training.

"I'm always open to anything. If it's what's best for the team and how I can put my best foot forward, that's what I'll do."

Saturday's Pacific Test at Campbelltown Stadium shapes as a massive test for Samoa against a Tonga side brimming with top line talent including Andrew Fifita, Jason Taumalolo and Michael Jennings.

After failing to win a game at last year's World Cup, and being soundly beaten 32-18 by Tonga during their group fixture, Samoa must show they're keeping pace with the other rapidly improving Pacific nations.

Milford said the team's goal was to one day be acknowledged as a tier-one nation, along with Australia, New Zealand and England.

"To be as big as them (the tier-one nations), that's the mindset the boys have at the moment," Milford said.

"It's about the growth of the game and the more players that pick their nations, the stronger (the Pacific Test) will get, the more even the playing field will be.

"You saw what Tonga did, they got all their players to play for them."