North Queensland Toyota Cowboys coach Paul Green says form has dictated his team for their round one clash against the Sydney Roosters at 1300SMILES Stadium on Saturday night.
Michael Morgan has won the battle of the fullbacks for the opener, with Lachlan Coote heading back to play Intrust Super Cup for the Northern Pride.
Green said that while Coote will add plenty to the squad during the season, round one was about picking players 'on form'.
Morgan had a breakout 2014 culminating in his selection in the Kangaroos' Four Nations train-on squad.
“It was his jersey to loose," Green said of Morgan.
"The way we finished last year and the way he finished in particular and also probably Robbie as well, Robbie worked hard over the pre-season and his trial form has been pretty good too."
The coach was full of praise for his squad for their commitment during pre-season, including Matt Scott, Scott Bolton and James Tamou who have all come back from off-season surgery to cement a place in the team for round one.
Tamou had his first run of the season during last week’s trial for the Northern Pride against PNG Hunters in Cairns, where he belted out 45 minutes on the park.
“He did a wonderful job getting himself back right to play last week and full credit to him, and the medical staff as well did a wonderful job with him,” Green said of Tamou.
The last time the Roosters and North Queensland met was in the heart-breaking one-point semi-final loss against the minor premiers in 2014.
Green knows there’s plenty of expectation surrounding his squad this season but says they're just concentrating on playing good football.
“I’ve been a little bit excited this week.
"I said to the boys to make sure we build our week ready for Saturday, we don’t want to get ready for the game too early.
"I've got to keep myself in check as well.”