Merritt keen to keep Souths' No.1 jersey - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Merritt keen to keep Souths' No.1 jersey

David Beniuk 15/08/2011 11:35:01 AM Comments (0)

South Sydney man-of-the-moment Nathan Merritt says he feels for retiring fullback Rhys Wesser but he's keen to hang on to the No.1 jersey as the Rabbitohs continue their audacious bid for the NRL finals.

Merritt's scintillating form since moving from the wing has brough him eight tries from two games, five against Parramatta last week and another three in Sunday's 47-18 thrashing of Canberra.

Wesser recently announced he would retire at the end of the season but he faces an uphill battle to force his way back into the red-hot Rabbitohs' line-up.

The former Penrith premiership winner and Queensland representative is expected to be fit after a knee injury in the next couple of weeks.

"Rhysy's been the ultimate professional, he's been great for 14 years," Merritt told reporters on Monday.

" ... We'll see what happens.

"I'm loving the time at fullback so I'm enjoying it.

"If we keep winning games I'm going to keep enjoying my football."

The Rabbitohs also expect to have Ben Lowe and skipper Roy Asotasi back before the end of the regular season.

Asotasi was originally due back for Friday night's clash with North Queensland but his return has been put back as he continues to develop strength in the wrist he fractured in April.

Sam Burgess, Luke Stuart and Scott Geddes, who had his knee checked last week after reconstructive surgery earlier in the year, will see no more action in 2011 regardless of how far Souths go.

After the Cowboys at ANZ Stadium, John Lang's men take on Brisbane and Newcastle away and, should they remain two points behind the Knights and improve their for and against, the round 26 clash could determine the eighth and last finals berth.

"There's a lot of buzz going around but we're not trying to get too far ahead of ourselves," Merritt said.

"If we win this week it's another step towards the finals.

"(But) it's the start of a tough run.

"If we win the three games, they're quality teams that we're going to play, so if we can win those three we know we're capable of beating anyone in the finals."

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