PENRITH, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 30: Trent Merrin of the Panthers is tackled during the round 16 NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Manly Sea Eagles at Panthers Stadium on June 30, 2018 in Penrith, Australia. (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)

The rumoured reunion between the Dragons and prop Trent Merrin may come to fruition in the coming weeks amid reports the club is likely to gain access to a significant chunk of salary cap space.

It is expected that around $270,000 will be cleared, approximately half of Jack de Belin's reported $545,000 salary for 2019, as a result of the ruling surrounding the 28-year-old lock's suspension last week.

This assumes the club makes a successful application for salary cap dispensation. A successful application would likely give the Dragons the financial means to pursue Merrin.

Reports have swirled for weeks regarding the 29-year-old's desire to leave English Super League club Leeds, with the Dragons long believed to be his most likely destination.

The de Belin saga is believed to have held up the progress of a deal between the club and Merrin, but with the former's short-term playing future now decided, both sides can proceed with greater clarity.

By NRL rule, the Dragons need to sign two players by the end of June.



  1. Better snap him up before the πŸ’²ouffffffffffs “TRANSIT LOUNGE” get any big ideas. Remember he won a comp 10 years ago with Saint Illawarra. Wow has it been almost 10 yrs since the old timer Bennett lost his magic. BahahahahaπŸ€£πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ’ͺπŸ”πŸ‘

  2. Merrin is not the answer, it doesn’t matter how many players the Dragons recruit, the problem is the useless clueless coach who should be sacked immediately, then get someone from outside like Toovey or Demetriou.

  3. Not sure how much Saints have left on the salary cap to add to whatever dispensation they might get for De Bellin, but Merrin is about the best of what realistically might be left to sign up and there wouldn’t be many decent quality players likely to be released by other clubs, if any. Of course, this issue wouldn’t worry Easts.
    Judging by the last few weeks, any signing by Saints would be an improvement.

  4. Well, it wouldn’t matter if the Dragons signed Sam Burgess, while the attitude amongst the players is third rate at best they’ll not win games. The players did this after the 2016 season too, didn’t turn up and the coach couldn’t find a way to motivate them and didn’t really drop anyone. Same old pattern playing out, players not listening to the coach, and there seems to be no repercussions. If McGregor is fair dinkum Ravalawa will be offloaded, Dufty, Sims, Graham and Lafai and Hunt dropped for a few weeks in the Cutters, I’d rather see us get smashed with a bunch of kids having a red-hot go than see over-paid bludgers trash the jersey and barely even try.

  5. SpecSavers will fix that little problem you have when focusing your eyeballs πŸ‘€πŸ‘“ upon the Table. The Premiers πŸ’ͺπŸ”πŸ‘πŸ“πŸ“πŸ“ are sitting in round 10 at equal 2nd with 14 games to play. Just keep pole position warmed up for us soufffffffffffffffs ya rabbitπŸ‡πŸ€“

  6. You got that right, πŸ’ͺπŸ”πŸ‘ With the best businessmen running the Show at the Sydney Roosters, Caps and the management of it is never a problem. Sign on for what you get with no little extras and no backending makes it a snack to keep every player combined under the cap.

    Sitili Tupouniua, Poasa Faamausili and Billy Smith have just resigned and extended for the next few years. So if they play excellent footy and people say they should be on 400-450k then this is where fans drop their bundle and say How can the Roosters keep them under the cap. When in reality they are on about 150k being young rookies. πŸ’ͺπŸ”πŸ‘

  7. No my eyes are fine thank you. Roosters are currently 3rd with Souths on top. Thanks for the failed attempt at humour and overuse of emojis though.

  8. Merrin would be a good signing and once K Sims is back and firing both players could have some impact from the bench. Think they need to sign a second rower because Jacob Host is below average to say the least. They should also try get Raymond Faitala-Mariner, he’s young a will give them good impact and he would prove handy come origin time also.
    Biggest problem at the club is the coach tho. He’s got a great team with one of the best forward packs, lots of experience and leaders but he’s a bad decision maker. In the stages of games he takes off key players which he didn’t rest earlier. He continually changes the backline not allowing combinations to build. Aiken was in origin contention the year before last and he started this year in NSW Cup and is now on the bench. Tim Lafai is overpaid and not preforming and gets picked. I’d look to replace him with Demetriou or Daley. And this would be my backline

    1. Dufty
    2. Rawalawa
    3. Lomax
    4. Aiken
    5. Periera

  9. Daffy – I think you are right in most of your comments, and there could be some light at the end of the tunnel regarding players being dropped to the NSW Cup. Mary has indicated there will be changes and I would relegate Ravalawa & Host and give Hunt an ultimatum – perform or leave!. I’ve become disappointed in him and I expect a lot more from him considering his standing in the QLD Origin team and the amount he is being paid by the Dragons. He doesn’t show enough leadership and organising ability for my liking and he has a few mistakes in his game. He’s not worth what the club is paying him. Ravalawa is young and still learning the game, so I would give him some time in the NSW Cup. Jacob Host is an honest player but lacks power and impact. I also have a feeling that James Graham will go back to England or retire at the end of this season and for what it’s worth I think Trent Merrin would be an asset the the team. He played his best football with the Dragons before.

    If Mary can’t get the team to perform he should be shown the door. He’s had plenty of time to mould a formidable team and so far he has failed. The Dragons can’t keep disappointing their supporters and sponsors, and if things don’t change I fear for their credibility and future prospects of attracting new players to the club.

  10. I think St.George has a good pack of forwards.
    How have the reasons for letting Merrin go changed ? He’s older now, wasn’t that good for Penrith last season. Not that good for Leeds in England. Not sure why they’d want Merrin back?
    Look at what Des Hasler has been able to do with Manly so far this season. St.George look as good as them on paper. So maybe getting another coach may be closer to the mark?
    The lack of a decent 5/8th right now due to injuries sure isn’t helping them either.

  11. The reason Trent Merrin left the Dragons was money, full stop. He was very popular with his team-mates and that would have a lot to do with the club’s current interest in him. One of the other factors would be his ability to re-adapt to the Dragons culture – something that I think he is more than capable of.

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