‘King’ urges Cowboys to re-sign Green

Cowboys open training session at Barlow Park in Cairns. Coach Paul Green. PICTURE: STEWART MCLEAN
Cowboys open training session at Barlow Park in Cairns. Coach Paul Green. PICTURE: STEWART MCLEAN

LEAGUE legend Wally Lewis believes Cowboys mentor Paul Green has only scratched the surface of his potential as an NRL coach, adamant it is "imperative" the club re-sign him and playmaker Michael Morgan to long term deals.

The Cowboys are heavy favourites to broker a new deal with the off-contract Green, who has built a record which has made him one of the NRL's most sought-after coaches.

Morgan, who established himself as a marquee talent in the absence of injured halves partner Johnathan Thurston, is also expected to sign a rich contract which could make him a Cowboy for life.

"It's imperative they get both of those (Morgan and Green)," Lewis said at yesterday's Courier Mail NRL launch in Brisbane.

Morgo's a bloke who demands support, he's been fantastic and is one of those blokes that gets better every year, but the bloke that's guiding the Cowboys around has been Greeny.

"The maturity he's displayed in his coaching over the last couple of years has been extraordinary. He just goes on to bigger and better things, and he's going to be demanding attention from the representative arena.

"He was very patient after he retired as a player, he came into coaching roles and did his apprenticeship in the right places, and he's gone ahead in leaps and bounds.

"If you're making your mind up as a player, you'll only go to a club with a good roster and probably more so a good coach. If you don't have confidence in the coach, you're wasting your time going there.After guiding the Cowboys to their maiden premiership in 2015 and last year's grand final despite a wretched injury run, the 'King' has no doubt Green is working toward being mentioned in the same breath as super coaches Craig Bellamy and Wayne Bennett.

"He's already there. He's had success premiership wise and is only going to mature as a coach from now," Lewis said.

"There'll be a lot of people saying anybody coaching a team with Johnathan Thurston in it is going to win a premiership, but unless Greeny is telling them the right things to do at the right time, they wouldn't have achieved it."

Regular five-eighth Morgan was outstanding in the uncustomary halfback role last year, inspiring the Cowboys to the decider from eighth place.

But Lewis said early season form will be crucial in determining who wins the right to wear the Queensland no. 6 jersey he made famous in Origin this year.

Storm youngster Cameron Munster made a fine debut at five-eighth in last year's Origin decider, with Morgan also starring at centre in the win.

If he's in form (he'll be picked there), but the bloke from Melbourne Storm (Munster) will demand attention," Lewis said.

"If you're not at your best at Origin time you won't get picked, it's as simple as that.

"He's displayed previously what he's capable of and they don't need to be reminded. If he's in form it'll be a great competition.

"His ability to step up to the plate (has impressed me). He accepted the role and nobody wants to fill in for Johnathan Thurston, (but) if you're doing what he does normally you deserve a bit more pay."