Nathan Merritt Must Play State Of Origin Football This Year

Not too long ago there was a time where Queensland were considered to be selecting players from a much smaller player pool than New South Wales had at their disposal.

Back before Queensland decided to turn its back on born and bred Queenslanders and started selecting players from Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Fiji, Northern New South Wales and so on….the Maroons didn’t have a huge amount of top class players in the top grade to select a team from.

On the other side of the border New South Wales had a different problem most of the time. They had to decide who they were going to leave out of their side. They had a lot more players to select from so a lot of the time they tried to select players with fewer weaknesses than their peers.

In a weird way, this saw both teams meet in the middle, and results showed that over the course of the of the State Of Origin series history, you could hardly split these teams.

As time went on and the game expanded, Queensland started selecting from a larger player pool and New South Wales left a golden era behind. New South Wales selectors though still fell into the mindset of looking at players weaknesses and trying to find holes in a players game rather than looking at their strengths.

This is where Nathan Merritt come into the discussion.

By any measure, Nathan Merritt is one of the greatest try scorers in the history of Australian Rugby League. With over 140 tries to his name, Merritt is one of the top ten try scorers of all time.

Merritt finds himself playing in a top team right now, as the Rabbitohs have started the season with a 5-0 record. That has not been the reason behind Merritts success though. Even in some terrible teams Merritt was one of the games leading try scorers. For a short time Merritt found himself playing at fullback and back there he played some fantastic football. If not for Greg Inglis, it is highly likely Merritt would still be playing at fullback for the Rabbitohs.

New South Wales for years has looked at why players are not ready to play for their losing State Of Origin team. I’ve said for a long time that New South Wales would never have picked Billy Slater because they would have said he is too small. That is about the only criticism you could level at Merritt. He isn’t 100 kilos, but who cares when he is scoring freakishly good tries every single week?

There is no reason what so ever to wait any longer. Nathan Merritt must play State Of Origin football this year.

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