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Thurston nominates Cowboys halves replacement

Wide World of Sports logo Wide World of Sports 12/11/2018 Chris De Silva

Jonathon Thurston. © Don Arnold/WireImage Jonathon Thurston. Retired NRL legend Johnathan Thurston has nominated Te Maire Martin as his replacement as Michael Morgan's partner in the halves for the Cowboys. 

With the ever-present Thurston out of the fold now, the number one question that has beckoned for the Cowboys is who will partner Morgan as he returns from a season-ending biceps injury suffered in 2018. 

Young halfback Jake Clifford was talked about as a potential Thurston replacement, but the 2005 premiership-winner believes that Martin is the optimal partner for Morgan. 

"With Ben Barba at the club, Te Maire Martin will be first choice to partner Morgo in the halves," Thurston told The Courier Mail.

a man holding a football ball © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd

"It will be nice if in the early part of the year we can get settled on a nine, seven, six and one. Last season was hard because there were a lot of changes.

"(Martin) is a real footballer. He’s a bit like (Cronulla back) Val Holmes where things just happen around him. He knows how to find the tryline and has great vision. He knows how to read a play.

"He’s a natural footballer. That will help take the pressure off Morgo. He’s not afraid to call the shots."

a man wearing a hat and smiling at the camera © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd

Thurston's comments come after Barba remained steadfast in his pursuit of the Cowboys No.1 jersey despite rumours that Holmes will link with North Queensland next year.

"I see myself as a fullback. No one said I can come straight in and grab it," Barba said.

a smiling man in a blue shirt: Ben Barba is relishing being back in North Queensland as he returns to the NRL next season following a stint in the UK's Super League. © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd Ben Barba is relishing being back in North Queensland as he returns to the NRL next season following a stint in the UK's Super League. "(And) it is going to be hard (if Holmes arrives). I am not 22 any more - I am 30 next year.

"And everyone wants the new guy coming through. If they chase him, they chase him - it's no harm to me.

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