Blues suffer blow as Cleary is ruled out of State of Origin decider

Nathan Cleary has been ruled out of New South Wales' plans for the State of Origin decider.

The scrum-half last week said it would be "devastating" to miss out, but tests on his injured ankle showed he will not be ready for Blues duty at ANZ Stadium on July 10.

Cleary suffered the blow in the first half of the Blues' 38-6 rout of Queensland at Optus Stadium on June 23 and was unable to continue after the break.

Penrith Panthers man Cleary, who team officials said had been "working around the clock" to be fit, has been replaced in the squad by experienced Newcastle Knights playmaker Mitchell Pearce.

The Blues said in a statement on Wednesday: "Pearce, who has played 18 games for NSW with his last appearance in 2017, will arrive in Blues camp tonight and will join the team for training at the NSWRL Centre of Excellence on Thursday 4 July."

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