St George Illawarra Dragons lock Trent Merrin admits he is keen and ready to take on more of leadership role in and around the NSW Blues State of Origin camp.

The local Shellharbour Sharks junior, alongside teammate Josh Dugan, is part of a 17-man squad named by Head Coach Laurie Daley for the first fixture against the Queensland Maroons at ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park on Wednesday, May 27.

The NSW Blues representative is poised to make his 11th outing for his state and is aware he needs to set an example through his actions and become a mentor to the younger members of the squad.

“It’s always a great feeling to be back in camp and get amongst all the boys again which is an awesome feeling,” said Merrin.

“Having played in a few games now makes me feel older but its great to see all these young faces amongst the squad too.

“To be part of the senior leadership group is a great thing to have on your shoulders and I’m both honoured and excited by it.

“I’ve learnt off others the professionalism required while in camp and to take each day as it comes and not try to build it up too much until closer to game time.

“Laurie played a big role in us winning the series last year as we had learnt from previous seasons and taking us to Coffs Harbour away from all the hype was what we needed.

“Each individual’s preparation was on song and we knew the job ahead of us and its going to be even bigger this time around.

“We’re expecting to go up another level again this year.”