Trent Merrin: Leeds Rhinos sign Australia forward on four-year deal

Trent Merrin
Trent Merrin has spent the last two seasons at Penrith Panthers, scoring seven tries in 70 games

Leeds Rhinos have signed Australia forward Trent Merrin from NRL side Penrith Panthers.

The 29-year-old has agreed a four-year deal and is the first player to join since new head coach Dave Furner arrived from Australia this month.

Merrin, who won the 2010 NRL title with St George Illawarra Dragons, played for New South Wales in the State of Origin series.

He is the fifth player to join Leeds for the start of the 2019 season.

Half-backs Tui Lolohea and Callum McLelland, centre Konrad Hurrell and prop Dom Crosby have also signed.

"He is an international class forward who was a regular last season for Penrith Panthers in the NRL," Leeds director of rugby Kevin Sinfield told the club website.

"He has an outstanding reputation in Australia for his leadership within a group and is someone who has played for a decade at the highest level of the game."

Merrin has won seven caps for Australia and scored in the final of the 2014 Four Nations tournament.

"I have done everything I possibly could in the NRL and this is a great opportunity for me to come to a great club with a fantastic culture and hopefully achieve some goals together," Merrin said.

"I have spent time with Dave Furner in camp before and enjoyed the experience. He is obviously well respected at Leeds from his time there as a player and has built an impressive coaching career in the NRL since then."