NRL season likely over for Cowboys' Morgan

North Queensland coach Josh Hannay doesn't expect his injured captain Michael Morgan to play the final two rounds of the NRL season.

MICHAEL MORGAN.
MICHAEL MORGAN. Picture: Mark Nolan/Getty Images

North Queensland captain Michael Morgan isn't likely to play again this NRL season but if he does, don't expect the Cowboys to follow the advice of Brad Fittler and shift him to the centres.

Interim coach Josh Hannay says he's "doubtful" his injured halfback will play in the final two rounds, but expected him to try to regain his fitness to push for Queensland Origin selection.

Morgan missed their 36-20 loss on Sunday afternoon to Melbourne, sidelined with a calf injury.

It continues a horror season for the 28-year-old, restricting him to just six games.

NSW Origin coach Fittler said at the weekend he believes the Cowboys skipper is better suited playing in the centres.

While Hannay may not have a say in it, given Todd Payten will take over the Cowboys reins in 2021, he believed Morgan would be wasted any wider.

"We haven't seen the best of Michael Morgan as a halfback and part of that is the number of injuries he's had - I don't think he's been able to string a full season together for three or four years," said Hannay, a Queensland State of Origin representative centre, said.

"And to see the best of him at half we need to see him string some games together there and if he does that, it's a position he can dominate.

"I think he's too good a player to put out in the centres ... if you put him there he will have much less influence over a game than he can at halfback."

Hannay hopes have Jason Taumalolo back next week after the superstar lock also went down with a calf injury, with games remaining against Penrith and Brisbane.

Hannay thought there was a bright future for the Cowboys, provided they could fix their leaky defence after letting in six tries against Melbourne.

"There's a side with a lot of ability, flair and potential but there's two sides to rugby league - attack and defence - and the club needs to work really hard on the defensive aspects and a lot of that comes down to attitude," he said.

"We've got a number of young guys who need to learn about the importance of defence for 80 minutes."