Queensland utility Michael Morgan has backed Cowboys teammate Kyle Feldt to step up if he has to replace injured winger Dane Gagai in next week’s second State of Origin game in Brisbane.
Newcastle’s Gagai is nursing a quad complaint and won’t train until Sunday, just three days before Origin II at Suncorp Stadium.
Feldt has been called into the team’s Gold Coast camp as a precaution and began training on the right wing on Thursday.
Gagai lasted just 30 minutes training away from the main group before leaving on Thursday.
“In his (Feldt’s) own mind he is training as if he is playing but we will wait and see what happens on Sunday,” Morgan said.
Feldt blew his Origin I audition with a butterfingered round 11 display for North Queensland against Brisbane days before the Maroons team was named.
It is believed Feldt had been locked in for the series opener before he dropped three balls in 15 minutes in a first half debacle for the Cowboys.
Selectors instead handed an Origin debut to Brisbane winger Corey Oates for game one.
Morgan said 24-year-old Feldt was now full of confidence, especially after rubbing shoulders with his Origin heroes.
“If he does play he will be fine. I am sure he is disappointed about not being able to play game one.
“And being here I am sure will make him want to play even more.
“All he needs is that chance. If he does I am sure he will do his best.”
Feldt had dismissed his round 11 display as “15 minutes of bad form”.
Morgan said Feldt showed in the very next NRL game against the Dragons that he had gotten over his round 11 disaster by defusing several bombs and leaping high to collect a kick and score.
“That try he scored against the Dragons is a sign he still has the confidence there,” Morgan said.
“He hasn’t even played 50 games of first grade.
“For him to be experiencing this (Origin camp) at the moment this early in his career is really good – he can take even more confidence from this.”