SOUTH Sydney winger Nathan Merritt has echoed his coach’s calls for John Sutton to be considered for the New South Wales Origin No.6 job, and he wants a blue jersey of his own to match.
Having fallen one game short of a Grand Final berth last season and with a 4-0 start to 2013 the Rabbitohs’ best players are pushing for higher representative honours, starting with the Country v City clash on Sunday, April 21.
Greg Inglis and Issac Luke are certain selections for the Australia v New Zealand Test on April 19 and Adam Reynolds is getting more support with each polished performance for the Blues’ halfback position, but it is two of the Rabbitohs’ more experienced performers who might be finally ready for an Origin call-up.
“I definitely think ‘Sutto’ should be nominated up there. I think he’s the most under-rated player that’s going around,” Merritt told Big League of his team’s five-eighth, John Sutton.
“He’s definitely leading us around the field and doing all those inspirational things… He’s the one steering the ship around and putting on the plays and I hope he does get a mention in Origin or anything like that because he’s really deserving of an Origin berth.”
The annual call for Merritt’s inclusion in a Blues squad for the first time started again after his hat-trick against the Roosters in Round 1, and he is now just nine tries from becoming the greatest tryscorer in South Sydney history.
With seven tries from four games the 29-year-old has moved into the top-10 tryscorers of all time but it is the three errors and two missed tackles in the opening month of football that Merritt points to as a sign that he is ready for higher honours.
“I think this is probably the best start [to a season] I’ve ever had in my career and it’s all down to a lot of hard work and a lot of discipline from the whole team,” Merritt said. “I’ve worked hard on my defence and my attack and it’s all come together and I’m just trying to be a good all-round player.
“I’d love to, I’d really love to [play Origin], we’ll just see what happens.”