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Cowboys hooker Jake Granville

Off-contract Cowboys hooker Jake Granville is yet to start formal discussions about his future as he focuses on recapturing his best.

The premiership winner, who turned 32 on Sunday, was displaced as his team's first-choice rake by Reece Robson in 2020.

Granville played just eight games last year - the first season since 2014 in which he made fewer than 24 NRL appearances - but is confident a new deal will come if he performs well.

"I feel I've just got to play some good footy and that will look after itself," he told NRL.com on Tuesday.

Asked if he'd like to extend his time with North Queensland into an eighth season in 2022, Granville said: "It's a great club here, and I feel we're taking some good steps in the right direction.

"If I can train hard, [we'll] see whatever happens ... I really love the town and the club."

Hess: Cowboys lift intensity to prepare for new rules

The Cowboys aren't lacking for dummy-half depth. Granville will also have to overcome a challenge for game-time from 22-year-old Reuben Cotter, who wore the No.9 jersey at stages last year while the elder statesman came off the bench and Robson was injured.

"I didn't play as many [matches] as I would have liked, but I took that chance to have a look at my own game and see where I can improve," said Granville, who debuted for Brisbane in 2013.

"I thought when I did come back [after being dropped], I worked on my strengths a bit more. But I'm enjoying the competition around training [with] both young hookers beside me.

Marsters adjusting to new playing style

"They're both great young fellas. We're all helping each other get better ... You can learn from anyone, and I'm taking a bit of feedback off them as well."

The 143-game veteran had a pre-existing bond with new coach Todd Payten, an assistant to Paul Green at North Queensland from 2015-18.

Cowboys players have consistently sung Payten's praises as he's set about revamping the side's attack with a faster-paced game-plan.

"It's good to have Toddy back. He's done a great job. He's brought some good people on board, and we're playing a bit of a different game of footy just with all the new rule changes," Granville said.

"I feel he's really adapting to that. I've really enjoyed the time so far that all the coaches have put in.

"They're buying in and giving us some great feedback."

Cowboys focus on back three

Granville added that captain and halfback Michael Morgan is looking good following a 2020 wrecked by shoulder and calf injuries.

"Morgs is a big, key factor for us; he's been training really well. He's been enjoying the new style we're playing," Granville said.

"Being more direct, it brings his running game into it a lot more, and he's a real threat when he carries the ball."

Cowboys in 2021

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