Panthers Duo Face Origin Snub

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Panthers Duo Face Origin Snub

Photo: Getty Images

With the NSW Origin guillotine dangling over their heads, Penrith marquee men Trent Merrin and James Tamou have unselfishly vowed to put club ahead of state.

The pair of Penrith big men are facing the real possibility of being left out of Laurie Daley's Blues side when it is read out, in a little over four weeks, as a result of their side's limp start to the NRL season.

With just two wins to show from the first seven rounds, Tamou and Merrin could see their representative hopes dashed as a result of their club's poor form.

Photo: Getty Images

Merrin was left out of the NSW side last year but put himself back in the frame with a standout performance for Australia during the end-of-season Four Nations.

Tamou too could be jettisoned with it expected that Aaron Woods, David Klemmer and Andrew Fifita are locked in as picks and Shannon Boyd made his Test debut last year.

"I want to be there for sure," Tamou said.

"It's always a good time of year. We're building at the moment.

"It's just one of those things, you'd love to be there but you can't take your focus away from what's happening here and as one of the experienced players, the team here needs me."

And as the Panthers' big-name recruit, Tamou has taken their mediocre start to heart.

He also accepted that Daley and his selectors had an abundance of choices in the front row.

"There are some really good forwards who played really well at the back end of last year, who deservedly got picked for the Kangaroos squad," Tamou said.

"Everyone wants to play Origin and they're building well."

Photo: Getty Images

And while Merrin looked like he had cemented his future in the Australian jumper for years to come following the Four Nations, the likes of Tyson Frizell, Josh Jackson, Boyd Cordner and Wade Graham are threatening to keep him out of the state side.

"You're always disappointed," Merrin said of his 2016 snubbing.

"They're a team you want to be a part of and I hold these things close to my heart.

"But the bigger goal is this club. I've come here for a reason and I'm not about to shy away from that and being selfish and start thinking about rep footy."

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