It was reported yesterday that exiled NRL centre Curtis Scott had been knocked back by the NRL in his attempts to return, prompting the suggestion that he would look for opportunities in Super League or reserve grade.
The decision to not allow Scott to play has seen former Leeds Rhinos man and ex-Australian international Trent Merrin take to Instagram to call the sport out for not protecting their own players.
Merrin has copped criticism from many within the sport for his stance given that Scott’s exile from the game came after being convicted of offences against his ex-partner.
Scott, aged 26, hasn’t played in the NRL since 2021 after being sacked by Canberra Raiders, with the centre having since been convicted of numerous charges.
He was convicted of; assault occasioning actual bodily harm, common assault and stalk/intimidate with the intention of causing fear or physical harm, with the charges landing him a 12-month community corrections order.
Scott had appealed the convictions earlier this year but to no avail, but recently he had tried to work on an NRL return.
It was reported by the Daily Telegraph that one club had been interested but ultimately the league informed him that he wouldn’t be permitted to play in the 2024 season, thus opening the avenue of a code switch, reserve grade or a Super League move.
What has now caused controversy is the reaction of retired star Trent Merrin who took to his Instagram story in support of Scott.
Merrin commented: “Imagine if the league protected their product.
“Heads up @curtisscott44 we at @azure.partners care for the person, now we just keep going.”
Per Merrin’s LinkedIn profile he is a founder of Azure Partners who describe themselves as a “Premium Athlete Advisory – championing athlete success, providing premium advice for growth on and off the field.”
That would suggest Merrin is acting as Scott’s agent, something that could see Scott be offered to Super League sides given Merrin’s connections in England from his time with Leeds.
For now though Merrin is the centre of plenty of outrage over his support with renowned journalist The Mole among the first to take aim.
He took to X, stating: “I used to think Trent Merrin was a pretty decent human being. Then I saw this on the coward’s social media… stay strong @TayJClarkk
– this is NOT how most men think.”
Tagged in the Mole’s post was Scott’s former partner, Australian triple jumper Tay-Leiha Clark, who in turn responded.
After 4 years, never once has there been any personal accountability taken. This is not an opportunity for redemption, it’s ignorance. It might be beneficial for Trent to consider this before publicly advocating for a man who has never even shown remorse towards his victim.
— Tay-Leiha Clark (@TayJClarkk) December 1, 2023
It still remains unclear what Scott’s future is but a return to the NRL is certainly off the cards, which does leave open a shot in Super League potentially.