YOUNGSTER: Penrith's halfback Nathan Cleary.
YOUNGSTER: Penrith's halfback Nathan Cleary. DAN HIMBRECHTS

Cleary: There's no way I'll be rookie of year

PENRITH'S 18-year-old halfback Nathan Cleary says he's not expecting to be the rookie of the year at next week's Dally M Awards, but he bought a suit recently just in case.

Titans' Ashley Taylor is favourite for the award, while Rabbitohs mature-age debutant Cody Walker was voted the best rookie by his peers at last week's Rugby League Players Association's night of nights.

Cleary (pictured) told nrl.com he didn't expect to take home any trophies next Wednesday.

"That'd be unbelievable and such a great honour, but there are some great rookies this year. I definitely wouldn't be expecting it,” Cleary said.

"I'm so grateful for the opportunity. It's been an amazing year and I've definitely learnt a lot over these last 12 months.

"It's been crazy to be honest.”

After debuting in round 13, Cleary played 15 games, scoring 118 points, including three tries.

This time last year he was playing schoolboys football.

Cleary told nrl.com he was looking forward to a break from footy.

"I just want to stay fit and get away from footy for a bit,” he said. "It's been a pretty big year for me and I just want to relax and be raring for the pre-season.”


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