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Soward: Cleary ahead of DCE as Kangaroos No.1

True Blue Jamie Soward has told NRL.com in his weekly column that Nathan Cleary is playing so well that he deserves a shot for the Kangaroos.

The debate is over: it's time for Nathan Cleary to replace Daly Cherry-Evans as the Australian halfback.

Cleary was again one of NSW's best on Sunday night as they wrapped up the Origin series with a 26-0 win over Cherry-Evans's Queensland.

Daly has been a fantastic servant for his state and country, and his footy is still top-notch. He's one of the best halves in the game.

But Cherry-Evans is not on the level of Cleary, who is the best player - let alone halfback - in the world. Blues fullback James Tedesco is a very close second and Tom Trbojevic is up there too.

For a guy that touches the ball so much and makes so many crucial decisions, no one can tell me Cherry-Evans is better than Cleary.

Nathan has the ability to elevate the players around him, much like the greats of the game in Andrew Johns and Johnathan Thurston.

Teams feed off their main playmaker and Nathan relishes that responsibility. He's always got a cool head.

Cleary needed to own an Origin series, and while he might not have got the praise received by Turbo, Tedesco or Latrell Mitchell, he's been outstanding.