Green backs Morgan to shine as fullback
Soon-to-be minted Queensland Maroons fullback Michael Morgan has the backing of his club coach Paul Green to get the job done at the MCG on Wednesday night.
Queensland coach Kevin Walters released his revamped line-up today, and Green didn't miss a beat when asked whether Morgan would be able to fill the role vacated by Billy Slater.
Morgan has played fullback in the Cowboys' past two games and also had a season in the No.1 jersey in 2014.
"He'll handle it no worries, he's played a couple of good games for us there before. He's also had a full season back there and got better as the year went on so he'll handle it if that's where they play him," Green said.
Green is hopeful his three Maroons reps [Morgan, Coen Hess, Gavin Cooper] will bring back some confidence to the club, and if they do it will build on the buzz generated by beating Manly in Round 13 with that trio missing.
"I said to all of those boys before they went into camp, 'forget about us for the time being and go in and enjoy being in a new environment and get some confidence out of training and knocking around those other Origin players and bring that confidence back with you when you come back to us'," Green said.
The Cowboys mentor is perhaps the only person who can compare Morgan and Kalyn Ponga, having coached both of them. He has no doubt the impressive young Knight would make a successful Origin debut if Dane Gagai succumbed to a finger injury.
Green handed Ponga his NRL debut in 2016 in a knockout final against the Brisbane Broncos in Townsville, which is as good an indicator as any as to how he would perform for Queensland.
"He doesn't get overawed by big occasions, which he proved here in that semi-final against Brisbane, so I'm sure he'll handle it," he said.
Green's biggest concern is how his players get through the match, having had some bad luck in previous years with players like Morgan and Johnathan Thurston missing matches due to injuries sustained in Origin.
"I don't seem to enjoy Origin as much as I used to given we've got a vested interest with our players playing, but I'm sure they'll get through alright," Green said.
"It's a case by case basis, we'll see how the game pans out, see how much involvement they have and which positions they play and all that sort of stuff... we'll make a call after the game."