Australian selection for Morgan
North Queensland Toyota Cowboys five-eighth Michael Morgan has received his first call-up to wear the green and gold for the Australian Kangaroos in the 2016 Downer Test Match on Friday 6 May.
Morgan will join co-captains Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott and club teammate James Tamou in camp from Sunday for the match against the New Zealand Kiwis at Newcastle's Hunter Stadium.
Cowboys head coach Paul Green said he "couldn't be prouder" of Morgan.
“I’m really wrapt for him. It’s a reward for some hard work that he’s done, especially over the last few years. I’m really happy for him and really proud of what he’s achieved.
“He certainly brings versatility (to the Australian side), he’s in good form with the ball … he’s playing with plenty of confidence at the moment. He’s a big body and he can play just about any position. He’s a handful in attack.”
The Australian side also includes three other debutants – wingers Semi Radradra and Blake Ferguson and interchange player Josh McGuire.
The match will mark Mal Meninga’s first match as Coach of the Kangaroos.
“This is a well-balanced squad and I’m extremely happy with it,” Meninga said.
“We have some experience as well as a handful of younger players who I am looking forward to seeing in this arena.
“It is the fourth most experienced line-up in Australia’s Test history but there will also be four players making their debuts.
“This is an incredibly important game for this group. I want to ensure the players have pride in the national jumper and my goal is to establish the Kangaroos back at the top of the international rankings.
“We have a Four Nations tournament at the end of this year and then a World Cup in 2017. This is the start of an important journey for the Kangaroos.”
2016 KANGAROOS SQUAD:
Fullback: Darius Boyd, Broncos
Wing: Semi Radradra, Eels
Centre: Greg Inglis, Rabbitohs
Centre: Josh Dugan, Dragons
Wing: Blake Ferguson, Roosters
Five-Eighth: Johnathan Thurston, Cowboys
Halfback: Cooper Cronk, Storm
Prop: Matt Scott, Cowboys
Hooker: Cameron Smith (c), Storm
Prop: Paul Gallen, Sharks
Second Row: Josh Papalii, Raiders
Second Row: Matt Gillett, Broncos
Lock: Corey Parker, Broncos
Josh McGuire, Broncos
Michael Morgan, Cowboys
James Tamou, Cowboys
Sam Thaiday, Broncos
18th man: Aidan Guerra, Roosters
19th man: Michael Jennings, Eels