Written by John Davidson
Photo by Leeds Rhinos
Former Penrith teammate Reagan Campbell-Gillard says Trent Merrin is homesick and wants to return from the Super League to the NRL.
Merrin left the Panthers in the off-season to sign a three-year marquee deal with Leeds Rhinos. But with Leeds bottom of Super League after a terrible start to the season, the 29-year-old has been facing criticism.
Merrin has been linked with a potential return to St George Illawarra, with the Dragons on the hunt for a forward to replace the stood down Jack De Bellin. Campbell-Gillard has been in touch with old teammate since he relocated to England.
“I think he’s pretty much homesick,” the Penrith prop told Triple M.
“Their team is not going too well. ‘Mez’ is a competitor and doesn’t like losing. I think he’s a little bit low at the moment, also with no wins and a bit of a pressure as a key signing or a marquee signing for them.
“So, he doesn’t handle pressure too well – I know that for a fact. It would be nice to see him come back, but I’m not too sure.”
Leeds have only won one of their eight matches so far this season and sit in 12th spot on the Super League ladder. Merrin has played in every game and scored one try.
The ex-Kangaroo and NSW back-rower actually leads all of Super League in offloads, with 26, while he is ranked 10th in the competition for metres made, with 879. He is also ranked 12th for tackles with 250 and ninth for carries with 123.
On Sunday The Daily Telegraph reported that Merrin had approached the Dragons about a move back home.
But the week before Merrin denied he wanted to head back to Australia and said he was happy at Leeds.
“It’s a big bubble what’s happening back home, a few players have been thrown around [to replace de Belin], but I am here and I haven’t heard anything from it,” he told The Yorkshire Post.
“It is not like back home, but you have to get comfortable in the uncomfortable which we have been.
“Leeds have welcomed us with open arms, it has been a great test and it’s what I needed in my career at the moment. I am comfortable here.”