Trent Merrin has won a premiership, a State of Origin series and played for his country, but now Penrith’s prized new recruit wants to take his career to the next level.
The 26-year-old representative forward began his new life at the Panthers this week following seven seasons at the St George-Illawarra Dragons where he won a competition in 2010.
Speaking for the first time as a Panther on Tuesday, Merrin said he had “butterflies” when he first put on the Penrith training kit for the first time.
“It was different… I felt a bit nervous but it was good, it was refreshing to put the new kit on,” he said.
“It’s a new chapter, new challenges and hopefully a great future.”
Merrin’s arrival at the foot of the Mountains, on a three year deal, will no doubt add plenty of punch as well as a touch of class to Penrith’s young and up and coming forward pack.
Merrin said he plans to keep things simple with a focus on becoming a better player both on and off the field.
“My job is to play the best footy I can and lead by example on the field and on the training paddock, that’s the way I went about it at the Dragons and it shouldn’t change too much here,” he said.
“I came here with my own personal job and that was to play the best footy I possibly can, and take my game to a new level.”
Merrin touched on his recent engagement to world champion Australian surfer Sally Fitzgibbons, which took place on a getaway to Vanuatu earlier this month.
Merrin, who has been with the mad Dragons supporter for a number of years, said converting Fitzgibbons to a Penrith fan was part of the proposal.
“Before I proposed I said she has to be a Panther,” he said.
“She’s supported me through the whole process when I made the decision to come to Penrith, so she’s with me all the way.”
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for nearly a decade.