The return of Michael Morgan from an ankle injury could be the boost North Queensland need to upset NRL rivals Brisbane in Saturday’s qualifying final.
The Cowboys head south to face Brisbane at a packed Suncorp Stadium knowing a victory will not only give them a week off but put them just a game away from only the second grand final appearance in the club’s 20-year history.
Morgan hasn’t played since spraining an ankle in the Cowboys’ round 24 win over the Warriors.
At the time it was feared the Queensland State of Origin playmaker’s season was over.
But the word out of Townsville is coach Paul Green will name Morgan when he reveals his team to play the Broncos later on Tuesday.
Such a selection could be a gamble if Morgan isn’t fully recovered but the prize of a week off with victory could be enough to tempt Green to roll the dice.
Back-rower Jason Taumalolo believes there’s no doubt Morgan’s presence would add an extra dimension to the Cowboys.
“A player of his ability and his running game, if he does come back it’d be a massive boost,” Taumalolo told AAP.
Morgan’s naming would come just a week after representative prop James Tamou made an earlier-than-expected return from a neck injury.
With fellow prop Matt Scott back in the swing after being controversially rested against Cronulla in round 22 and Gavin Cooper also getting back to his best after a hip injury, spirits are high at Cowboys’ HQ.
A Cowboys’ junior product, Taumalolo said the fact North Queensland are also playing in a Queensland derby is another motivating factory heading into Saturday’s clash.
“The fact it’s a derby and a rival game in a final, that makes it even more special,” he said.
“It’ll be a good game to be a part of, I can’t wait.”