St George Dragons' hopes boosted by Merrin’s return

REPRESENTATIVE lock Trent Merrin makes a timely return from suspension for St George against a desperate Warriors at the weekend in a game that both sides must win to stay in the top eight battle.

Merrin has not played since round 16, serving out a four-game suspension for a lifting tackle on Queensland Origin rival Corey Parker in the third game of the series.

The suspension has proved costly to the Dragons who lost three of the four games Merrin has missed.

"It's been a tough few weeks but it's come around now and I've done everything I possibly could the past month to put myself in a good position for this weekend," Merrin said.

Warriors coach Andrew McFadden has opted to tackle the Dragons without Konrad Hurrell.

The damaging Hurrell has been replaced by Jonathan Wright in the only change to the side that gave up a handy halftime lead to lose to Cronulla at home last weekend.

If the ninth-placed Warriors get up they will replace the Dragons (seventh) in the top eight, with both teams going into the clash on 22 points along with the Bulldogs who have a tough game against Brisbane.

Meanwhile the Roosters, who could welcome back try-scoring ace Shaun Kenny-Dowall against Newcastle, will have to get by without bruising back-up prop Sam Moa who dislocated his wrist against the Bulldogs last weekend.

North Queensland coach Paul Green has stuck with the 17-man squad that staged a great comeback against Canberra for the club's dangerous away clash with Cronulla at Remondis Stadium on Saturday.