Cleary to lead Blues revolution

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Nathan Cleary in action against the Dragons on Saturday night. Photo: Melinda Jane

Nathan Cleary has won the race for the coveted New South Wales halfback jersey as a new era for the Blues begins.

Cleary will be named alongside his Penrith halves partner James Maloney in the Blues team for Origin I, which will be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground next week.

Coach Brad Fittler will name the Blues team at 6.40pm this evening but Cleary and Maloney have both already arrived at Blues Camp.

Nine News is also reporting that fellow Panthers stars Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Tyrone Peachey have also arrived at Blues camp ahead of tonight’s announcement.

The last time Penrith had four New South Wales representatives in an Origin match was in 2004 when Luke Lewis, Luke Rooney, Craig Gower and Trent Waterhouse all made the team.

For 20-year-old Cleary, it is potentially the start of a long representative career. Experts including Panthers boss and former Blues coach Phil Gould have called on New South Wales to stick with the Panthers star long-term.

Cleary was in serious doubt to make his Origin debut this year when he suffered a knee injury in round three. He’s played two games since returning from the injury, including a starring role in Penrith’s 28-2 victory over the Dragons on Saturday night.

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