Penrith star Trent Merrin says it took him less than a week to accept a contract extension that will see him remain a Panther for the next four years.
Merrin last week became the fifth NRL player this year to own a contract until the end of 2020, joining Canterbury’s David Klemmer and Moses Mbye, current teammate Leilani Latu and future teammate James Tamou.
Despite being just a year into a three-year deal at Penrith after moving from St George Illawarra last summer, Merrin had no hesitation when approached just last week to commit long-term.
“I think I signed it during the same week,” he said.
“To be honest it was a pretty easy answer. The biggest question was whether I was happy or not and I couldn’t be happier,” he said.
“It was a pretty quick process. I ran it past my partner and my family. It’s been a great challenge so far. That’s what you want as a player, to keep being challenged and test yourself as a player and a person.
The former NSW State of Origin representative admitted it took him time to adjust to life at the foot of the mountains after spending the first seven years of his career in the Red V.
A premiership-winner with the Dragons, Merrin said he now views himself a Panthers leader.
“It was a challenge at the start to leave a place where I spent most of the time I loved and being a part of but this has just been a great place to be a part of,” Merrin said.
“I love coming here and being a part of this group of men. It’s definitely something that I pride myself on now – to be a leader at the club and put this club in a position it deserves to be.”
But while Merrin is confident in the club’s long-term future, he is adamant they could do damage this year, sitting ninth and still in finals contention.
After a disappointing golden point loss to the Warriors last week, Merrin labelled Monday’s meeting with the Sydney Roosters do-or-die.
“It’s a must-win. That’s what I’m preparing for. Every week from here on in is a must-win,” he said.