Trent Merrin escapes surgery on leg injury

Injured Dragons lock Trent Merrin should be fit to take his place in the Blues team for Origin III in a fortnight. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Injured Dragons lock Trent Merrin should be fit to take his place in the Blues team for Origin III in a fortnight. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

RUGBY LEAGUE

Dragons lock Trent Merrin is expected to make the State of Origin series victory lap at Suncorp Stadium next month, after scans cleared him of a major leg injury on Tuesday.

Merrin wasn't named in the St George Illawarra line-up for Monday's return to Wollongong where they play Melbourne, after suffering the injury en route to scoring the match-winning try in the one-point victory over the Titans.

However, Dragons skipper Ben Creagh said scans had eased concerns for the Blues forward, who helped clinch a dramatic NSW series win over Queensland for the first time in nine years at ANZ Stadium last week.

"He had scans yesterday and it came back with some bruising around the ankle," Creagh said.

"It wasn't syndesmosis or anything and they're the serious ones.

"I'm tipping they won't risk him [on Monday] if it's going to cause any further damage but it's great he doesn't have to have surgery or it's not serious where he'll be out for the rest of the year."

It was welcome news for Merrin who played in all three matches for the Blues for the first time last year after being dumped from deciders in 2011 and 2012.

He'll look to enjoy a 3-0 sweep of the Maroons in a fortnight alongside teammate Josh Dugan and Creagh hopes the pair's success at Origin level can have a flow on effect on the Dragons' late finals charge.

"You can just see them come back with so much confidence," Creagh said.

"To have two rep players of that calibre come back into your side and play well like they did on the weekend, it's great for the rest of the side."

No stranger to the rigours of Origin, having played 11 games for the Blues, Creagh is not expecting Melbourne stars Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Ryan Hoffman to show any ill-effects on Monday.

"It's tough for sides like Melbourne who have a lot of players involved but I'm not reading too much into it because they backed up and put 40 points on Parramatta [last week]," he said.

"We played Parramatta a couple of weeks ago and they were a quality side so that's a big effort."

The Dragons were left ruing a refereeing howler when the sides last met in round six with Young Tunomaipea scoring the match-winning try after what should've been full-time but Creagh said his side won't be using it as motivation on Monday.

"That's footy. You win some, you lose some," he said.

"One day we'll get one of them back because what goes around comes around. There'll be a time in the future when we win on the bell."

Merrin's omission was the only change to the Dragons following the win over the Titans, with Jack de Belin to start the match at lock and Dan Hunt and Jack Stockwell added to a five-man bench.

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