He was axed from the side for Game 3 of the 2011 series, and it cut him deep – but now, St George Illawarra forward Trent Merrin wants back in the NSW Origin side, with the prop producing some great performances for the Dragons this year.
To illustrate the form that he is in, Merrin is averaging 16 hit-ups a game and 145 metres, with the former rep prop adamant that he has learnt from his mistakes, and is ready for another opportunity.
“If they want me involved at that level again, I’m not going to take a backward step,” Merrin said.
“Getting dropped is always in the back of my head just feeding me to try to make it back there.
“Each year you grow with the game and you mature a bit more. I love playing for my state, it’s something I’ve always wanted to achieve and it’s no different this year with the sky blue jersey.
“Once you get a taste of it you just want to be there in the trenches trying to beat Queensland.
“The speed and the mentality of the game is unreal and getting to play along- side blokes like Paul Gallen is unbelievable.”
Merrin has some heavy backers in his corner, with former NSW props Steve Roach and Glenn Lazarus in regular contact with Merrin – with the Tigers legend declaring that Merrin will come into contention for a jersey.
“Your face lights up when you see one of their numbers come up on your phone, they’re legends,” Merrin said.
“They’ve helped me out a lot, they tip me up on how I’m going and what I need to be working on.”