Cowboys want Morgan for life
Cowboys football manager Peter Parr has revealed his desire to keep 23-year-old sensation and Townsville junior Michael Morgan a one-club player.
Morgan's skyrocketing development pathway has transcended playing positions from his days as fullback last season, and Parr is very happy with the strides his young five-eighth has taken.
A devastating ball runner, Morgan breaks almost three tackles per game, breaks the line at least once and has laid on five try assists this year.
In a testament to his defensive impact, Morgan equals halves partner Johnathan Thurston as the NRL's leader in errors forced from opponents in tackles, with 13. The two are streets ahead of the league in this category as the only players above 10.
"You don't play State of Origin by fluke and without a tremendous amount of ability. Of course he's only a young man and he's already played about 70 NRL games, he's played three State of Origins, finals footy and scored a hat-trick in a finals game," Parr told NRL.com.
"You would have to say that he has developed really well and if we weren't happy with where his development was, we wouldn't have offered him a three-year deal. We're delighted with the way he's going and we think that once he comes back from Origin, he has the potential to keep improving.
With comment starting to be made on the club's future post-Johnathan Thurston, Morgan is arguably his best foil since JT arrived at the club.
But setting himself apart as the primary playmaker is a different story. The 69-gamer has had little experience in the NRL as his side's go-to guy, and failed to make his mark as the number one option against Cronulla two weeks ago.
His kicking game and attacking organisation are areas he needs to add to his game, however Parr says Morgan has the mentality to improve and become a star of the competition.
"He's always been very mature, Michael. Always. He's always taken things in his stride and has always had a very good demeanour about him and that will stand him in good stead in years to come and obviously our long-term plan for him is to be a one-club player so hopefully that will come to fruition," Parr said.
"To start making comment on what the team might look like in 2018 is a bit premature. The only two players we have signed for 2018 are Michael and Coen Hess and we think that's a really good start.
"We will look to build into the future at an appropriate point in time, but I would've thought that Michael Morgan will have a prominent role to play within our team in 2018, but it's probably a bit premature to say exactly where that is right now."