South Sydney Rabbitohs winger Nathan Merritt has announced his retirement from the NRL after 13 seasons and 237 games.
The 31-year-old spent 11 of those seasons with the Rabbitohs, racking up a formidable record of 146 tries from 218 games.
Earlier this year Merritt broke Benny Wearing’s long-standing club try-scoring record for the Rabbitohs with his 145th try for the club but recently thre form of boom youngster Alex Johnston and a rejuvenated Lote Tuqiri has prevented him from playing first grade.
Merritt played his junior football with the Alexandria Rovers and made his NRL debut for the Rabbitohs in 2002, playing 23 games for the club over 2 seasons before moving to the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in 2004. He played 19 games over 2 seasons for the Sharks before returning to the Rabbitohs in 2006.
“I’m proud to have worn the red and green,” Merritt told NRL.com.
“It’s been a remarkable ride … something I never thought I would do.”
Despite his remarkable try-scoring feats, including leading the NRL in tries in 2006 despite the Rabbitohs’ finishing the year with the wooden spoon, higher honours have often eluded him. It took him more than a decade to play his one and only State of Origin game for NSW in 2013.
He did manage 2 games for City in 2011 and 2013, 3 games for the Indigenous All Stars between 2010-2012, and 2 games for the Prime Ministers XIII in 2006 and 2011.