How Merrin is dancing the bullies away
Trent Merrin ranks it one of the more nerve wracking moments of his life.
Even ahead of representing Penrith, NSW, and Australia.
On Thursday Merrin joined 50 students in a flash mob dance in Martin Place to raise further awareness for the 'Move Out of Your Head' campaign.
The 28-year-old launched the movement in March and after more than 12 months of preparation was able to present his final piece to the city of Sydney.
"I was definitely more nervous than in a game," Merrin told NRL.com.
"You play in the NRL for so long, 10 years, so anything you do outside the game gives you that fresh feeling of being uncomfortable again.
"It's great to feel like that, get goose bumps happening, and stepping out of your comfort zone. It was all about the youth, they were outstanding today.
"I've been preparing a lot longer than them. It takes them two sessions but it took me six. It's a lot of work in the back play to piece it all together. It turned out excellent."
Merrin's message is simple.
He wants to let people know – particularly young kids – that they're not alone.
As a child Merrin was bullied for being overweight. It was a trend that continued through to his teenage years and still plays a part in his life now.
"You go through tough times when you feel alone," Merrin said.
"In my whole life I've gone to dark places. I got off the hook in a way because there was no social media back then. You'd go to school and cop bullying, but then come home, only dealing with it at school.
"In this generation today you can't hide from it, it's always in our faces. You go home and it's still in your face.
"As adults we need to put triggers in the school so mental health doesn't fall into our next generation. We need to put some procedures into place.
"We can't help everyone but everyone can help someone."
On the paddock and Merrin is set to shift to prop for Sunday's second instalment of the 'Battle of the West' against Parramatta at ANZ Stadium.
The Eels face their worst start to a season in 27 years and Merrin expects a different performance to what everyone has seen from Brad Arthur's side in the opening month of the Telstra Premiership.
It will be the first time in three years the former Dragon will move into the front row.
"It's funny how the circle of life comes around," Merrin said.
"I made my debut under Wayne in that jersey. I'm taking it with both hands. James Fisher-Harris did a great job last week so we needed to find a spot for him.
"If I have to play front row or give hooker a go I'll do whatever to make the pack keep moving forward. We've all got one goal to win a competition and will do anything to make it happen."