Nathan Cleary feels the pain on Sunday night in Perth.
Nathan Cleary feels the pain on Sunday night in Perth.

Cleary ‘no chance’ for Origin III

THE Blues are facing yet another halves crisis with halfback Nathan Cleary set to be rule out of the State of Origin decider after suffering a cruel ankle injury in their game-two demolition.

Cleary injured his ankle late in the first half and did not return for the second.

Until that moment, he had been highly effective and his defence was particularly strong.

Newcastle's Mitchell Pearce will be considered to replace Cleary, although coach Brad Fittler may opt to play James Maloney at halfback and shift Jack Wighton from centre to five-eighth, where he plays for Canberra.

That would mean finding another centre. The two obvious candidates are Latrell Mitchell and Josh Morris, who played in the position in game one.

A forlorn Nathan Cleary sits on the sideline after suffering an ankle injury in Origin II. Picture: Adam Head
A forlorn Nathan Cleary sits on the sideline after suffering an ankle injury in Origin II. Picture: Adam Head

The Panthers revealed on Tuesday that Cleary had been diagnosed with a high-grade lateral ankle injury and would be sidelined for up to four weeks, ruling him out of Origin III on July 10.

News Corp Australia


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