Facing his former club St George Illawarra is one of the last things on the mind of Penrith Panthers recruit Trent Merrin.
The 26-year-old forward joined his new teammates in pre-season training this week and is looking forward to making the most of a new chapter in his life.
The Shellharbour Sharks junior is the Panthers most decorated new recruit, with 135 first grade games, 11 State or Origins for NSW, one Test match and a grand final win already under his belt.
He admitted there were some butterflies in his stomach before his first training session, but the nerves have settled and he is ready to get down to business.
"It's a new chapter, new challenges and hopefully a great future," he said.
"My job here is to play the best footy I can and lead by example on the field and on the training paddock.
"That's the way I've gone about it at the Dragons and I don't think I should change too much here."
Although he committed to the Panthers when Ivan Cleary was coach, Merrin said the appointment of Anthony Griffin did not affect his decision
"It was surprising but in saying that, I come here with my own personal job and that's to play the best footy I possibly can and take my game to a new level," he said.
"No matter who was appointed as coach, I was definitely going to give it the best crack I possibly could."
Merrin recently become engaged to professional surfer Sally Fitzgibbons during a holiday in Vanuatu.