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Nathan Cleary's startling confession about Super League switch amid Mary Fowler detail

The NRL superstar says he is open to a potential Super League move.

Pictured left Nathan Cleary and right with Mary Fowler
Nathan Cleary's romance with Mary Fowler could dictate his future in the NRL as he teases a potential switch to the English Super League. Image: Getty/Nathan Cleary's Instagram

Nathan Cleary has teased a potential switch to the Super League while in England ahead of the Panthers World Club Challenge showdown against Wigan on Saturday night (Sunday AEDT). A move to the UK for the NRL star is all the more plausible due to his relationship with Matildas and Manchester City forward Mary Fowler.

The pair have been together since late last year and their relationship could see Cleary move abroad to join her, in what would be a massive scalp for the Super League. Cleary told the Mirror that he is open to the switch. "I'm not against it (a Super League move). I have a pretty open mind to that kind of stuff," Cleary said.

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"I think just being able to experience different cultures and different experiences is something I enjoy doing. I'm not closed off to that idea."

The Panthers are staying in Manchester ahead of their clash with Wigan and the halfback says he has loved returning to the English city and being near Fowler. "I was lucky enough to spend almost two months in Manchester for the World Cup and really enjoyed it," he said.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 12: Mary Fowler of Manchester City controls the ball from Li Mengwen of Brighton and Hove Albion during the Barclays Women´s Super League match between Manchester City and Brighton & Hove Albion at Manchester City Academy Stadium on November 12, 2023 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
Nathan Cleary's move to the UK could be plausible due to his relationship with Manchester City forward Mary Fowler (pictured). (Jan Kruger via Getty Images)

"I'm lucky enough to know a bit about the town now and know where everything is so it’s good to be back. I actually really like just being able to wander around the streets and no one knows who you are. I think I’ve only been recognised once. It’s a nice change (to Sydney)."

The Panthers are desperate to claim the club's first-ever victory in the World Club Challenge, having lost the previous two years. Penrith's premiership teams of 1991 and 2003 also failed to beat their British hosts. "Just seeing how much it meant to St Helens and losing that game did hurt," Cleary said about last year's defeat.

"We want to try to correct that this year. Obviously, over there will be a greater challenge in front of their home fans... That's why it's such a great opportunity for us. We as a club have never won it."

NRL fans outraged after Wigan star Harry Smith cleared to play

Rugby league fans have been left fuming after Wigan halfback Harry Smith was cleared to face Penrith in the World Club Challenge. Smith will take his place against Penrith after escaping a ban for his spear tackle on Castleford's Luke Hooley in the Super League.

He was sent to the sin bin for the tackle but will not miss any matches after receiving a Grade B charge from the match review panel. It was ruled that "the unnatural actions of the tackled player significantly contributed to the outcome of the tackle", explaining why the halfback got off without a ban.

Grade B charges usually incur a one-match ban, but previous conduct can be taken into account. The Wigan star has instead copped a $480 fine and footy fans are not happy.

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