Leeds Rhinos have confirmed the signing of NRL and Aussie Test star Trent Merrin from Penrith Panthers . Merrin was number 1 on the Rhinos list of wanted players but it looked like they had lost their man to a late bid from South Sydney . Leeds Director of Rugby Kevin Sinfield was determined to get his man though , Leeds were due to announce the signing 2 weeks ago , and the deal has finally been signed meaning the 29 year old , who also played origin for the Blues , will be playing in Super League next season . He has signed a 4 year contract and will be the Rhinos 2nd marquee signing after Konrad Hurrell .
Merrin will be the 5th new signing at Headingley ,alongside Hurrell they have also signed Tui Lolohea , Callum McLelland and Dom Crosby as they look to get back in the play offs after a dismal 2018 which could so easily have ended up in Relegation . Sinfield has always admitted the squad needed to significantly improve especially with the likes of Ryan Hall and Joel Moon moving on .
Speaking to the club’s website Sinfeld showed his delight at the capture saying
“He is an international class forward who was a regular last season for Penrith Panthers in the NRL . He has an outstanding reputation in Australia for his leadership within a group and is someone who has played for a decade at the highest level of the game.”
Leeds mocked the rumours that circulated last week that they had lost out on signing the former Dragon as part of their announcement of the news that is sure to delight the Rhinos fans .
Merrin himself is looking forward to the new challenge and the chance to work with new Leeds Coach Dave Furner adding
“I have done everything I possibly could in the NRL and this is a great opportunity for me to come to a great club with a fantastic culture and hopefully achieve some goals together, I have spent time with Dave Furner in camp before and enjoyed the experience. He is obviously well respected at Leeds from his time there as a player and has built an impressive coaching career in the NRL since then.”
Ironically rumours circulated that Furner had turned his back on Leeds just before his signing was announced aswell .
Overall the powerful forward has played over 200 games in the NRL , 7 games for the Green and Gold and 13 times for the blues in Origin .