Morgan downplays captaincy chances

NRL NEWS

Morgan downplays captaincy chances

North Queensland Cowboys star Michael Morgan has talked down his long-term captaincy chances, believing Gavin Cooper is the next in line after co-captains Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott.

The club clearly has one eye on the future, with Cowboys recruitment chief Peter Parr labelling Morgan as the club's next captain during the team's finals run last season.

With Thurston and Scott heading into the twilight of their careers, there will soon be an opening but Morgan was quick to shut down any suggestions he would be the perfect candidate.

Modesty aside, Morgan would be a strong option to become captain after coming of age in 2017, stepping up in the absence of Thurston to become one of the game's best halves while guiding the Cowboys to the grand final.

The 25-year-old Kangaroos representative has all the makings of a great leader, even if he won't admit it himself.

"No, no, no. The captaincy is all theirs," Morgan said when asked about taking over from Thurston and Scott.

"Gavin Cooper was the next in line anyway after them. I got to captain I think two games this year but I was about fifth string so I expect them go straight back into that role."

Even without an official title, Morgan is still one of the most respected leaders at the Cowboys.

He used the recently completed World Cup as another opportunity to learn from the best, spending his time in Australian camp trying to develop his leadership characteristics.

With Cooper Cronk announcing his retirement from the representative arena after Australia's 6-0 victory over England in the World Cup Final, Morgan is a strong chance of a permanent starting gig in the halves for the Maroons and Kangaroos.

"I've only started one Origin game. Yes, I've played a handful but I've only sort of evolved into more of a leader this year at the Cowboys. It's something I enjoy doing so hopefully I can keep taking that forward," he said.

"In saying that, I'm always learning, and I did a lot of that during the World Cup off of guys like Cameron Smith and Cooper. That tournament helped me evolve as a leader and a player."

Off contract next season, North Queensland are working around the clock to try and get a deal done to ensure Morgan remains a Cowboy.

But he has put contract talks on the backburner, instead using his time off to reflect on his great year.

"I've enjoyed the season that I've had," he said.

"I'll look back on it as a year where I learnt a lot as a player and I had to as well. It's been great.

"We lost the grand final and that still hurts, but I'm still happy with the year I've had. I've thoroughly enjoyed it."