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Cowboys playmaker Michael Morgan.

Cowboys stars Michael Morgan and Justin O'Neill have both been named to back-up just three days after State of Origin when North Queensland clash with Titans. 

Injured halfback Johnathan Thurston has been named in the extended squad, but the Cowboys will be unable to determine his readiness to play until all of their Queensland representatives return on Thursday. 

Coach Paul Green will focus the team's limited remaining training sessions on perfecting their fifth tackle options, an aspect of their performance that cost them their previous game against the Cronulla Sharks. 

"I thought most of our game, apart from our last play options for a period there, was pretty good. I thought we created some good opportunities," Green said. 

"We probably could have handled some of their key players a little bit better I thought [Andrew] Fifita was a handful and [James] Maloney came up with some big plays at times. Apart from that I thought our game was pretty tidy and they're a good side."

The players currently in the Cowboys' spine, Morgan, Jake Granville and Lachlan Coote, have improved in the absence of Johnathan Thurston in previous weeks, and will need to continue to perform when the Cowboys' chief playmaker returns. 

"They're capable, they're experienced players… Whenever 'Johnno' (Thurston) comes back into the team the challenge will be for those guys to continue doing what they've done because they've done it really well in recent weeks," the Cowboys coach said. 

"That will be their challenge once he comes back but until that point they need to keep doing their job." 

Although they have been named, whether Morgan and O'Neill play is still dependant on how they recover from the gruelling Origin arena.  

"We'll see how they play, 'Morgs' has been named on the bench, so it depends on his involvement and see how they get through so we'll make a decision after the game," Green said.  

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