Penrith coach confident Nathan Cleary will hit ground running after suspension

Penrith Panthers coach Ivan Cleary (right) walks with halfback Nathan Cleary on the field after losing the 2020 NRL grand final.

ABC Sport

History shows why Penrith coach Ivan Cleary can be confident about son Nathan returning for the NRL finals in top gear despite being suspended until the end of the regular season.

Cleary was hit with a five-game ban for a spear tackle on Parramatta’s Dylan Brown. He will be sidelined until week one of the finals.

It means the halfback will have only played one full game — a July 23 win over Cronulla — between State of Origin III and the Panthers’ first finals appearance.

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