Trent Merrin will return to Leeds Rhinos for the new Betfred Super League season

Australian forward Trent Merrin joins the Leeds Rhinos in Super League
Australian forward Trent Merrin joins the Leeds Rhinos in Super League

Leeds' marquee player Trent Merrin will return to the club for 2020, the Rhinos have confirmed.

The 30-year-old former Australia international, who joined Leeds on a four-year contract from NRL club Penrith Panthers 12 months ago, made 28 starts and was appointed captain in June following the departure of Kallum Watkins.

Merrin was granted permission at the end of the season to source a deal with a club in Australia on compassionate ground but director of rugby Kevin Sinfield says the forward has decided to return to the UK in time for pre-season training early in November.

Sinfield said: "During last season Trent had to return home to Australia for some personal family reasons and, given those issues at the end of the season, we gave him the opportunity to look to see if he could source a deal with a club closer to home.

"He had our full support in doing this but we knew there was also a strong part of him that wanted to come back.

"I spoke with him this morning and he confirmed that he would be returning to the Rhinos and we are delighted about the news and he will be back for the start of pre-season at the beginning of November.

"His performances on the field were outstanding for us last season. He is looking forward to getting back and is raring to go again."

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