TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 09: Nathan Cleary of the Blues is seen after winning during game one of the 2021 State of Origin series between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons at Queensland Country Bank Stadium on June 09, 2021 in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Blues halfback Nathan Cleary fell victim to a facial laceration in the first half of Origin I, needing to be stitched up at half-time, however the star play-maker has been cleared of any serious damage to his cheek.

Cleary sought treatment in the opening stanza but was able to soldier on and play out the rest of the match as New South Wales enjoyed a massive win.


The 23-year-old will travel back to Sydney on Thursday morning, and is expected to miss Penrith's clash with Cronulla on Friday night as a precaution.

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Meanwhile, Maroons prop Christian Welch was sidelined after just 12 minutes in the series opener following a head clash, and did not return to the field after failing his HIA.

Eels hooker Reed Mahoney will be out indefinitely after injuring his shoulder during Parramatta's Round 13 thumping of the Knights, with scans revealing damage to his shoulder capsule.

Dane Gagai (illness) and Jai Arrow (rest) will be unavailable for the Rabbitohs' clash with Newcastle this Saturday, as they look to claim their 10th win of the season.

Penrith has included Api Koroisau in their starting line-up but have named the remainder of their Origin contingent on an extended bench, as Panthers centre Stephen Crichton told on Monday he didn't expect many of those teammates to be available.

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In other news, the Wests Tigers have lost bench forward Thomas Mikaele for at least a week, due to a knee injury the prop picked up in last week's win over the Panthers.