Morgan ‘ right man’
HE’S filled Johnathan Thurston’s boots superbly at club level, and he “deserves” to do likewise for the Maroons.
That’s the opinion of Cowboys coach Paul Green, who believes Michael Morgan’s experience off the bench for Queensland has him best placed to win a four- way battle for Queensland’s No. 6 jersey.
Morgan is expected to be named at five- eighth or centre, and showed he can handle the latter by setting up the matchwinning try in Origin II playing right centre.
Since then Morgan has found the right recipe to survive life without Thurston at the Cowboys, backing up a superb performance against Penrith last week with a two- try, three- assist masterclass in Saturday’s 31- 18 win in Canberra.
Morgan has played all seven of his Origins off the bench, and his versatility could count against him after fiveeighth rivals Daly CherryEvans and Cameron Munster also had fine games this round.
But Green said Morgan has the runs on the board and his efforts in guiding the Cowboys to two wins from two matches since Thurston was ruled out for the year deserved reward.
“He’s the bloke who’s best positioned out of anyone,” Green said.
“He’s been involved in that team now for a couple of years coming off the bench, he knows what they’re doing and has played with Johnno at club level week in, week out.
“There’s no one else in the comp who’s in a better position to take that spot. In my opinion, I think he deserves it.”
Fellow Cowboys Coen Hess and Gavin Cooper will retain their places in the Queensland team that came from behind to beat the Blues 18- 16 in Origin II in Sydney.
Now Morgan is hoping to take this new- found confidence into Origin III.
To fill the shoes of either Thurston or incumbent centre Darius Boyd will be a massive task, but it is one that Morgan is confident he can take on.
“It’s definitely exciting,” Morgan said of possibly starting for Queensland.
“I’m under no illusions that it’s big shoes to fill ... I know that it will definitely be a huge challenge but I have confidence in the guys who would be around me.
“The people around me will certainly give me confidence.
“Whatever role that team or Kevvie wants me to play, I’m more than happy to do that. I just love being in that side. Whether it’s starting or coming off the bench, I’ll be happy.
A conversation with his potential Maroons halves partner has also helped him find a new level.
“I’ve had a few conversations with people who are smarter than me about ( being halfback) and they’ve helped with their advice,” Morgan said.
“I had a good conversation with Cooper Cronk down in the Test week. He had some good words for me which definitely helped me.
“It wasn’t anything too much, just simple things that cleared stuff up for me.
“I also had a conversation with Greeny after that week about how we were playing, how I was playing and what was wanted of me.
“We cleared a few things up and I told him I do want that role if JT is going to be out. I want to be the one that is taking more control.
“He was glad that I come to him and say that.” did