Michael Morgan has today been announced as the new captain of the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys.
Morgan was officially unveiled in the key leadership position at the Cowboys 2019 Season Launch at the Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre, with Jordan McLean anointed vice-captain.
The new Cowboys captaincy duo take over from club legends Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott, with Scott to remain a crucial member of the Cowboys leadership group.
A home-grown North Queensland product, Morgan came through the Cowboys pathways system in Townsville before bursting on to the NRL scene as an 18-year-old in 2010.
In 2014 he became a first-grade regular and a year later emerged as one of the game’s brightest stars in a season which culminated with that famous flick pass to send Kyle Feldt over after the siren to bring the 2015 grand final against Brisbane to golden point.
Morgan has also registered nine appearances for Queensland and a further 12 for Australia.
McLean joined the Cowboys prior to the 2018 season and despite playing just 10 games due to a foot injury, quickly became a leader among the playing group.
The 27-year-old has played 96 NRL games since debuting in 2013 and has also represented the Kangaroos on eight occasions, including at the end of last season.
“The logical choice would have been to keep Matt Scott on as skipper given he was co-captain for so long, but after the retirement of Johnathan we viewed this decision as an opportunity to build for the future,” Cowboys head coach Paul Green said.
“Morgo showed us in 2017 he had the attributes to lead this club and the benefit of naming him captain now is the fact we still have players of Matt and Gavin Cooper’s experience at the club to support both Michael and Jordan. The timing ensures we’re not throwing Morgo in the deep end.
“Macca’s appointment is also a look to the future. He has shown strong leadership qualities since the day he arrived at the club and again we thought this was the right time to hand him extra responsibility before some of our more experienced players move on in the next few years.”
Morgan said he was honoured to be following in the footsteps of a prestigious group of former captains including Thurston, Scott, Paul Bowman and all the way back to the club’s inaugural skipper Laurie Spina.
“The privilege of being named captain of this club is one of the most special moments of my career,” Morgan said.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to play my whole career here, I’m born and raised in Townsville and grew up just down the road from 1300SMILES Stadium. I have a lot of fond memories as a kid of spending the day playing footy at junior league and then coming across to Cowboys games.
“This club has a history of strong leaders and hopefully I can continue the tradition.”
McLean admitted he was shocked when told by Green he would be named vice-captain.
“It’s only my second year at the club and I only managed to play 10 games last year, so this appointment came as a surprise, but I’m honoured to be taking on the role,” he said.
“I’ve grown to love this club very quickly, which is a reflection of the quality of people we have here at the Cowboys along with our fan base. They come from all over and pack our stadium every game and I can’t wait to run out in front of them next weekend.”