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Martin would be good fit for Kiwis: Merrin

  • Martin would be good fit for Kiwis: Merrin

    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 19: Te Maire Martin of the Panthers mixes with fans after victory in the round three NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Brisbane Broncos at Pepper Stadium on March 19, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Australia forward Trent Merrin says his Penrith teammate Te Maire Martin is more than good enough to step up if called upon by New Zealand for the Four Nations final on Sunday (0130 Monday AEDT).

Kiwis coach David Kidwell is keeping his cards close to his chest about who'll replace injured five-eighth Thomas Leuluai with back-rower Tohu Harris also in contention to wear the No.6 shirt.

Martin, 21, has played only six NRL games after a shoulder injury ended his 2016 season prematurely in round eight but he did come off the bench against Scotland last week after Leuluai broke his jaw.

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The playmaker is rated as one of the best young talents in the NRL and should Kidwell throw him in at the deep end, Merrin said he won't be overawed by the occasion.

In Merrin's view Martin proved that during his round three NRL debut against Brisbane when he kicked the winning field-goal late in the game after scoring a try.

"He's a champion kid, his work ethic and desire to learn is a credit to him," Merrin said.

"He's got a lot of developing to do but if they did give him the role then I know he would take it with both hands.

"He did that on his debut and he was a star in that game and thrives on the pressure.

"If he does play it can only be good for him and for our club."

Kidwell will name what is expected to be a 19-man squad on Friday afternoon (Saturday AEDT).

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