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Martin relishing return to the spine

Te Maire Martin fought his way back into Paul Green's starting side for the Round 11 showdown with South Sydney and the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys playmaker is desperate to stay there.

The 22-year-old was solid during his first appearance in the starting line-up since Round 2.

Martin was named to replace omitted fullback Lachlan Coote, but switched to five-eighth with Michael Morgan moving to the back of the field.

Martin ran the ball eight times for 52 metres and chipped in 22 tackles during the agonising one-point loss to the Rabbitohs.

"It was tough, I hadn't played 80 minutes since Round 2. There was a lot of running, but I really enjoyed it and I thought Morgo went really well at fullback," he said.

"It was heartbreaking to lose the way we lost, but I thought it was a step in the right direction."

Green said his decision to leave Coote out of his side was based more around a desire to have Martin more heavily involved in the game than the form of the premiership-winning fullback.

After starting at five-eighth in the opening two rounds for an injured Morgan, Martin had been relegated to playing limited minutes in a bench utility role in recent weeks.

The New Zealand representative said he was extremely grateful to be given another chance to prove his worth as a starter.

"It's given me a lot of confidence," Martin said.

"The plan this year was to just train and learn as much as I can off JT and Morgo, but as it's happened I've got to play alongside both of them. To be in the spine with both of them is pretty special."

Questioned on whether the Cowboys season was still salvageable, Martin said he had no doubt in his mind.

"Definitely. There is still a lot more games to go. We have left it a bit late, but we have full faith that we can come back," he said.

"We just have to stay positive, keep the faith and believe in each other that we can still do the job. We have talked about all those things and hopefully we can show it this week against Melbourne."

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.