Martin tipped to learn from JT

13 January 2018 19:31:32 GMTPlus11
Johnathan Thurston

Te Maire Martin will have a golden chance to learn from Johnathan Thurston at the Cowboys next season - that's according to coach Paul Green.

Martin is likely to see his amount of game time reduced in 2018 now that North Queensland will start the campaign with a clean bill of health.

Green has told him, though, that he should use this year as an opportunity to benefit from playing with Thurston in what will be his farewell season.

Martin is guaranteed to still be around in 2019, so what he gleans from Thurston will be invaluable if he can go on and claim a regular starting role in the halves next year.

That is the beauty of it for Te Maire this year so he's got to make the most of that while he can.

Paul Green

Thurston's set to be partnered by Michael Morgan in the halves for Green's side so Martin, who was a revelation in his 12 games at five-eighth for the Cowboys last year, will have to be patient.

Green hasn't yet decided what role the 22-year-old will fill next season, as his lack of experience at hooker weighs against him.

The coach said: "Whatever happens and whatever position Te Maire ends up playing in once the season kicks off, with  JT only having another year to go this season is going to be a golden opportunity for a young half to learn as much as he can off the best.

"I was lucky enough to play with some good players but I don't think I was ever in Te Maire's position where I was young, still developing and had the best in the game to learn off without the pressure of expectation.

"That is the beauty of it for Te Maire this year so he's got to make the most of that while he can, but his development is heading in the right direction."

North Queensland are 5.50 to win the Grand Final. The Cowboys are 1.85 to finish in the top four.

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