Nathan Cleary Opens Door For Sensational Super League Switch To Seek Out New Challenge

The perfect time to seek out another challenge?

Nathan Cleary Opens Door For Sensational Super League Switch To Seek Out New Challenge

Image: Getty

Nathan Cleary has sent shockwaves through the NRL community after suggesting he was open to transferring to the Super League, switching the sunshine for the North of England to spend some quality time in Manchester.

I’m struggling to imagine why you’d want to swap the sun-kissed azure of Sydney’s Bondi Beach for one of England’s notoriously greyest cities. Now I may have some southern bias, but as a Londoner who moved to Australia for a better climate, I can’t get my head around it.

But that’s exactly what Nathan Cleary has suggested he may do after spending more time in Manchester this month… and surely, being closer to his football star girlfriend must be weighing heavily on his mind.

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Of course, the prospect of moving overseas is an alluring one for any player; experiencing new places and cultures is certainly one of the benefits of life as a professional athlete and as the NRL’s Penrith Panthers prepare for an upcoming World Club Challenge bout against Wigan, Cleary has admitted he’s been seduced by Manchester’s charm.

“I was lucky enough to spend almost two months in Manchester for the World Cup and really enjoyed it,” Cleary told The Mirror.

“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].”

Image: Daily Mail

After spending more time in the UK in 2022, captaining the Kangaroos to a huge World Cup win, and thanks, in part, to Cleary’s football star girlfriend Mary Fowler who plays for Manchester City in the WSL, the Penrith star has admitted he’s open to the idea of trading the NRL for the Super League in England.

“I’m not against it [a Super League move]. I have a pretty open mind to that kind of stuff,” Cleary confessed. “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.”

Nathan Cleary is widely regarded as the best rugby league player on the planet, captaining his Panthers side to three consecutive Premiership titles over the last three years. Together with his father-coach Ivan Cleary, the pair have turned the Panthers into a formidable rugby force and could be named the best team in the world with a World Club Challenge win… the perfect time, then, to seek out another challenge.