Cowboys five-eighth Michael Morgan against the Tigers.

North Queensland Cowboys five-eighth Michael Morgan was happy and surprised to have been picked in the Australian squad to take on New Zealand. 

Morgan has been in self-admittedly poor form this year, but is hopeful that his selection in the Australian side will be the confidence boost he needs to get his season back on track. 

"It's nice to know that Mal [Meninga] stayed loyal I suppose, I think everyone out of that team was in England last year which is good," Morgan said. 

"I'm taking this week now as an opportunity to try and play some good footy for the Cowboys and get back into the swing of things."

Morgan will be able to drop the responsibility of directing a team when he takes the field for Australia, and he's looking forward to focussing on his own performance on the night. 

"The role I play within that side I'm really just focussed on my own game and what I have to do. There's a lot of great players in there that are the main talkers and leaders in that group so it's a lot easier for me to go out there and worry about what I have to do," he said. 

Morgan will be hopeful his return to form will come in Round 9 when the Cowboys take on the Parramatta Eels, given he'll be lining up against an in-form Corey Norman. 

‌The Cowboys recently reformed backline will need to be at the top of its game to stop Semi Radradra and Michael Jennings from crossing off good service from Norman. 

"They're a team who demand respect in the way they carry the ball. They're strong runners of the ball and their left edge, it's a very dangerous one," Morgan said. 

"We've talked about that this week, about being strong defensively down our edge. We set ourselves a standard last year the way we were defending and we're not too happy with how we've let things slip the last couple of weeks."