Merrin granted immediate release from Panthers: Reports

Following weeks of speculation surrounding his immediate playing future, Trent Merrin has been granted an immediate release from the Panthers having accepted a four-year deal with Leeds, according to the Daily Telegraph.  

The former Blues veteran had two years remaining on his current deal at Penrith but has opted to play the remaining years of his playing career abroad, following Konrad Hurrell and Tui Lolohea to the 2017 Super League Champions.  

He will now play under former Souths Assistant Coach David Furner.

It's reported a meeting with General Manager Phil Gould and ongoing conversations with Leeds prompted the 29-year-old's decision, and comes just days after new head-coach Ivan Cleary backed Merrin to remain at Penrith. 

"It's Trent's decision on whether he stayed or he didn't,'' Cleary said.

"It looked like a pretty good opportunity, but I'm happy he's still here."

Merrin has played 205 First-Grade games in a career spanning 10 seasons, making his NRL debut with the Dragons in 2009 before playing three seasons at the Panthers with 72 appearances to his name. 

He represented NSW on 13 occasions and was part of the historic series victory in 2014, while also earning six Test caps for Australia.