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St George Illawarra Dragons lock Trent Merrin is counting down the minutes until he makes his return against the New Zealand Warriors at Westpac Stadium, Wellington on Saturday.

The NSW Blues representative has been forced to watch the team compete from the sidelines for the past month having served a four-game suspension.

The local Shellharbour Sharks junior admits that it has been a learning curve watching his teammates compete week-in and week-out as a spectator but is now keen to take to the field and play his role in the forward-pack.

"It's been a different aspect of my game having to watch the games from the sideline and as a players it been a learning curve watching everything that has happened," said Merrin.

"From a distance I think we have been great in every game with only the little things that we have been slipping up on letting us down where it counts.

"I think our middle-men though have been stepping up and that was on show against the Newcaslte Knights last round - especially watching Leeson Ah Mau and Mike Cooper taking a lead in the pack.

"We need to continue completing our sets and build pression when we line-up against the Warriors and I will be making sure I do my part in doing just that."