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Toyota Cowboys co-captain Matt Scott is a big fan of coach Paul Green’s NRL selection surprise of naming Michael Morgan at fullback for the season opener against Canberra on Saturday night.

Not many would have predicted Morgan would wear the No.1 jersey after Lachlan Coote was sidelined by a knee injury at the NRL Auckland Nines, but Green saw plenty of fullback traits in the 22-year-old who then starred in the trial against the Gold Coast Titans.

He gained the selection nod just ahead of rookie Zac Santo, who has been included on a six-man interchange bench this week.

“I love the idea (of Michael Morgan at fullback),” Scott said today.

“As bad as the injury was for Cootey – terrible news for him – this might be the little chance that Morgs has been looking for.

“He’s been in and out of the position of half, not really cementing a spot there, and he’s come out and shown a real talent at fullback.

“He’s taken to it really easily. It looks like he’s been training there a lot more than he has.

“He’s adapted to the role really well and hopefully he can carry that through to Saturday night.”

Scott is also confident that young forward Jason Taumalolo will find a home alongside co-captain Johnathan Thurston on the left edge of the Cowboys’ attack.

The 20-year-old scored a try running off Thurston in the first half against the Titans and was a dominant figure in the Broncos win, where he also scored, and the Nines triumph.

“I think the Nines was a great stepping stone for him,” the Cowboys front-rower said.

“He gained a lot of confidence out of that and I think playing on that left edge with Johnno is really going to see him come along as a player.

“We’ve got to give him time. It’s NRL first grade and it doesn’t come automatically.

“He’s only 21 this year and he’ll grow into the role.”

Acknowledgement of Country

North Queensland Cowboys respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.