Monday Apr 30 19:07 AEST South Sydney winger Nathan Merritt claimed racism could be the reason behind his omission from the NSW City Origin team to play NSW Country this week. The Aboriginal winger was one of the big absentees from the squad, with Bulldog pointscoring machine Hazem El Masri and rising Parramatta star Jarryd Hayne selected instead. Merritt topped the NRL tryscoring list last season and after a strong start this year would not have been out of place in the City side, but believes his heritage could be a factor in his failure to win a jersey. "I'm not too sure what it is, maybe it's a Souths thing or it's a racial thing," Merritt told the Nine Network. "They don't like indigenous players coming through the representative ranks." NSW rugby league general manager Geoff Carr ridiculed Merritt's claims, pointing to the selection of several players from different racial backgrounds in this year's sides. City have Lebanese-born Muslim El Masri and Hayne, whose father is Fijian, while the Country side features Aboriginals Preston Campbell and Amos Roberts. "It's a ludicrous association given the racial mix in all of our representative teams, particularly the City team this year," Carr told the Seven Network. Former league star Anthony Mundine is the most recent player to claim racism cost him representative selection. The St George five-eighth often said his Aboriginal heritage was the reason Test champions Laurie Daley and Brad Fittler were selected ahead of him for NSW and Australia. Now a world champion boxer and also an indigenous officer with South Sydney, Mundine slammed Merritt's non-selection as another case of racism in rugby league. "There's been an under-belly of racism within rugby league for a long time and if this does not expose it again then I don't know what does," Mundine told the Nine Network. :bdh: :bdh: Trust Mundine to weigh into the debate! So what card can Hicks & Glenn Stewart play???? They're from Manly!