It will be his first professional appearance in a representative jumper, despite having played in the Indigenous All-Stars and Prime Ministers XII teams.
After having to wait for quite some time, that is exactly the impetus and motivation that Merritt is going to use to springboard himself into the NSW side, on the back of good form.
“It’s been a long career and it’s been a long time coming but I’m really looking forward to the challenge on Friday night. I’m just going to get out there and enjoy it,” Merritt told AAP.
“If there’s a vacant (Origin wing) spot, I’m definitely going to put my hand up and try my hardest and play as well as I can.”
Despite the likes of Brett Morris, Michael Gordon, Akuila Uate and several others in front of him, Merritt believes that with some good performances, he can usurp one of them, and play on the wing for NSW.
“Who knows what can happen,” Merritt said.
“There’s three Origin games so you’ve just got to try hard.
“All the boys are here to do their best and enjoy it but it’s obviously also about Origin selection and impressing (NSW coach) Ricky Stuart as well.
“It’s going to be a great challenge for me being in a rep side.”