NRL player Nathan Cleary has moved to shut down romance speculation surrounding Matildas star Mary Fowler and himself after they were spotted together the other day. Cleary and Fowler caused a stir when they were photographed having an ice-cream together mid-week following a photoshoot.
Fowler, 20, has become one of Australia's biggest sporting superstars after her success at the World Cup having featured for the Matildas on their run to the semi-final. Cleary, 25, is a two-time NRL premiership winning halfback and the current Kangaroos No.7.
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While many were wondering if the two had started a sporting 'power couple' after their latest picture, the Hello Sports Podcast team were doubtful the meeting was anything more than a quick moment after a photoshoot. Although, it didn't stop host Tom Birmingham pondering the question.
“Now they’re both sponsored by adidas and they were maybe doing a function. But you have an ice cream with someone, that’s saying something. You may as well be holding hands,” host Birmingham said. "We haven’t got a power couple do we at the moment?” Birmingham asked.
And while the duo would surely be an Aussie sporting 'power couple', the speculation hasn't lasted long. The Cleary camp moved to quell any romance speculation on Wednesday and the team confirmed to News Corp there was nothing to the rumours.
Fowler currently plays for Manchester City in the Women's Super League. Fowler became one of the biggest names during the women's World Cup having dazzled Australia with her quick feet in all six matches.
Cleary is currently looking to win his third straight premiership with the Penrith Panthers. Cleary missed Game II and III of State of Origin this year having injured his hamstring after the first loss.
But the Penrith halfback has returned to help guide his team to the top of the ladder on 40 points with two games to play. No team has won three-straight premierships in a row since the Eels in 1981, 82 and 83.
Matildas capture the hearts of the nation
The women's World Cup in Australia has been a landmark event for the nation and the Matildas shattered records on their way to the semi-final. Sam Kerr, Fowler and their teammates captivated the nation like few before them and TV audiences proved this.
The Seven Network confirmed 11.15 million viewers turned in to watch the blockbuster showdown, with an average of 7.13 million. The bonkers figure breaks the all-time record of 8.8 million who watched Cathy Freeman's iconic gold medal run in the 400m at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. The Seven Network also said 957,000 viewers watched on their streaming service 7plus, which also broke a record.
The semi-final had a peak of 6.9 million viewers on TV broadcast alone - which was 89.8 per cent of the total commercial television audience on Wednesday night. It means that roughly nine out of 10 Australians who were watching commercial TV were watching the Matildas.
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