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Sport Nathan Cleary certain to return for NSW Origin trial against Luke Brooks

04:10  12 may  2018
04:10  12 may  2018 Source:   sportingnews.com

Freddy's bizarre approach to picking Blues

  Freddy's bizarre approach to picking Blues NSW coach Brad Fittler has revealed the date when he'll choose his team for the opening game of the State of Origin series, claiming he has an 'empty sheet'.NSW will unveil its team for the opening game of the Origin series against Queensland at the MCG on June 6, live and free on Nine, at a ‘True Blue’ dinner at The Star in Sydney on May 28.

NSW Origin predictions: Only four certain starters. Candidates: Nathan Cleary , Adam Reynolds, Luke Brooks , Mitchell Moses. As mentioned above, Maloney is most likely to nab this jersey.

The father-son Cleary reunion might have to wait a little longer given the rise and rise of Luke Brooks in the Wests Tigers No. 7 jersey. Brooks was entitled to think the worst when Penrith's star halfback Nathan Cleary and his father, Tigers coach Ivan Cleary

a group of people standing in front of a crowd© Provided by Sportal com au Boom Penrith Panthers half-back Nathan Cleary has been cleared to return from a knee injury to face fellow NSW contender Luke Brooks and the Wests Tigers at Panthers Stadium on Thursday.

Panthers coach Anthony Griffin confirmed the 20-year-old will return against his dad Ivan’s Tigers after Penrith’s 29-18 win over Newcastle on Friday night.

“He finished off his rehab today and had a tough session this morning down at Penrith and he’ll re-join the team tomorrow,” Griffin said.

“It’s good to get Nathan back.”

Cleary has been sidelined with a medial ligament strain suffered in the Round 3 clash against Canterbury.

State of Origin: Ryan Girdler picks Josh Addo-Carr, Nick Cotric and five Dragons, Tom Trbojevic misses out

  State of Origin: Ryan Girdler picks Josh Addo-Carr, Nick Cotric and five Dragons, Tom Trbojevic misses out Girds picks a team in form

NSW State of Origin coach Brad Fittler has all but admitted Nathan Cleary was a frontrunner to the Blues options who play for top eight teams in the NRL at this early stage are the Warriors' veteran Blake Green, Sydney Roosters five-eighth Connor Watson and Wests Tigers No.7 Luke Brooks .

12 Penrith Panthers- Nathan Cleary . If Brad Fittler decides to go for a new direction in his first campaign as New South Wales Origin coach, Nathan Cleary will be the number seven. 16 Wests Tigers- Luke Brooks .

Nathan Cleary in action tonight.© AAP Image/Paul Miller Nathan Cleary in action tonight. His return for the Round 11 showdown means he will have two games to convince new Blues coach Brad Fittler he is physically and mentally ready for the Origin opener against Queensland at the MCG on June 6.

Cleary and Brooks, who has been in career-best form for the Tigers this season, are the two main contenders for the Blues number-seven jumper, with incumbent Mitchell Pearce sidelined with a pectoral injury.

With his Panthers team-mate James Maloney is all-but guaranteed one spot in the Blues halves, Brooks, Cleary and Sydney Roosters star Luke Keary are left to fight for one position.

The star Panther, who has been linked with a future move to the Tigers to play under his old man, will also face likely Queensland half-back Ben Hunt and the St George Illawarra Dragons the following week before Fittler names his Blues squad.

Wests Tigers halfback Luke Brooks concedes Origin chances have dimmed, backs Penrith duo for NSW .
The race for the NSW playmaking spots has tightened - but Brooks has hinted he is no longer a frontrunner. Brooks believes the Panthers playmakers are the best bet to make Fittler's NSW squad for Origin I."That's the way they will go, Cleary had a good game in his return, Maloney has been there before, so that's the combo I think they'll go with," Brooks told Fairfax."They both have good game management, and in Origin that's a big thing. They're both good runners of the ball and they work well together."You couldn't tell he (Cleary) had been out for eight weeks. He's a quality player.

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