Nathan Deane Merritt, born on 26 May 1983, carries a proud family legacy within the South Sydney Rabbitohs, stemming from his grandfather, Eric Robinson, a winger and Life Member of the Club in the early 1960s. Merritt, a product of Alexandria Rovers, went on to become an iconic figure in the Club, playing 218 games and ranking as the fifth most-capped player in its storied history.

Throughout his illustrious career, Merritt became the all-time leading try scorer for South Sydney, amassing 146 tries and overtaking the legendary Benny Wearing’s record of 144, a milestone he reached during an 18-2 victory over Penrith on 11 April 2014. This record stood proudly until Alex Johnston surpassed it in 2022.


Merritt's journey in professional Rugby League kicked off in 2002, making his first grade debut as player #974 in a round nine match against the Warriors, where he scored a try coming off the interchange bench. His NRL career spanned over a decade, from 2002 to 2014, encompassing 237 first grade games. This included a period at Cronulla-Sutherland during 2004-2005, where he primarily represented their feeder club, Newtown Jets. Here, Merritt left a significant mark by scoring 300 points in the 2005 season, including a record-breaking 40 points in a single match against St Marys-Penrith Cougars.

Merritt was known for his blistering speed and an uncanny ability to find the try line, whether playing at right wing or fullback. His versatility was on full display in 2011 when he scored five tries in a single game against Parramatta. Despite the Rabbitohs finishing last in 2006 with only three wins, Merritt emerged as the season’s Dally M leading try scorer with 22 tries, marking the only occasion in NRL history that the leading try scorer came from the team at the bottom of the ladder.

His career was decorated with numerous accolades, including being the NRL's leading try scorer in 2006 and 2011, George Piggins Medallist for Best and Fairest in 2011, Jack Rayner Players’ Player in 2006 and 2008, Roy Asotasi Members’ Choice Award in 2009, and The Burrow Player of the Year in 2006 and 2009. He also represented NSW in the State of Origin and played internationally for the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII in 2006 and 2011.

Nathan Merritt Highlights

Beyond the pitch, Merritt has been a steadfast supporter of his community. After retiring in 2014, he continued to play for the Redfern All Blacks, a club that holds personal significance as it was also where he and his father played during his youth. In recognition of his significant contributions, South Sydney honoured him with Life Membership in 2015.

Nathan Merritt remains a celebrated figure among Rabbitohs fans, remembered not only for his remarkable skill as a natural try scorer but also for his resilience and spirit, embodying the essence of what it means to represent the oldest, loudest, and proudest Rugby League team.

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