Merrin returns but Dragons deny interest

0
68

ST George Illawarra insist no contact has been made with Trent Merrin as they hold off on a possible replacement for Jack de Belin until next week.

Merrin was heavily linked with an NRL comeback on Monday after being granted permission by Leeds to return to Australia due to a family bereavement.

The 29-year-old left the NRL late last year after being granted a release from the final two years of his deal at Penrith to sign a four-year contract in England.

Speculation of a return began in March when it emerged the Dragons could apply for a salary cap exemption due to the code’s new no-fault stand-down policy.

Merrin arrived in the Super League on marquee billing, however he has failed to prevent the Rhinos from a disastrous start to the new season.

Leeds are currently in last spot with just two wins from 10 matches.

It is understood the Dragons will earnestly begin their search for a replacement once de Belin’s fight against the NRL’s new policy is over next week.

The final hearing is due back in Federal Court on April 16.

Trent Merrin during his time at the Dragons. Picture: Brett Costello

Trent Merrin during his time at the Dragons. Picture: Brett Costello

Former Panthers teammate Reagan Campbell-Gillard said he had spoken to Merrin, who insisted all the chatter was mere speculation.

However, the Penrith prop revealed Merrin was reluctant to leave the NRL and only took up the offer because of the security of the long-term deal.

“Obviously he was trying to get another club here to pick him up but that offer from Leeds was obviously something he couldn’t turn down,” Campbell-Gillard said.

“It’s a different lifestyle. He probably didn’t want to do it on those types of terms but rugby league, it’s a bloody competition and it’s a business.

“It’s one of those things you just have to cop and move on from it.”

Campbell-Gillard said he had already circled in their date with the Dragons in the hope of going toe-to-toe with his former neighbour.

“I’ve told him if he does come back I’ll be going for his head,” he said.

“Round 18, I think. I’ve got some close friends at the Dragons as well. I know that exactly. Friday night, 7:30pm, out here.

“It’s one of those games you want to get up for against really good mates and former teammates. That one is definitely pencilled in the diary.”

Live stream the 2019 NRL Telstra Premiership on KAYO SPORTS. Every game of every round live & anytime on your TV or favourite device. Get your 14 day free trial >

Live stream the 2019 NRL Telstra Premiership on KAYO SPORTS. Every game of every round live & anytime on your TV or favourite device. Get your 14 day free trial >




Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here