Rugby league-Penrith coach Cleary forced to evacuate home due to floods

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SYDNEY (Reuters) - Penrith Panthers coach Ivan Cleary has been forced to evacuate his home and move into his halfback son's house as rising floodwaters threaten the National Rugby League (NRL) club's training centre in Sydney's western suburbs.

Unrelenting rains over the last three days have swelled rivers in Australia's eastern state of New South Wales, causing widespread damage and triggering mass evacuations.

Cleary, who guided the Panthers to the NRL final last season, was among residents ordered by authorities to evacuate their homes in a Penrith district abutting the Nepean River in western Sydney, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Cleary is now sharing a house with Penrith halfback Nathan Cleary in a nearby suburb.

Penrith chairman Dave O’Neill and the club’s welfare and education officer Shane Elford had also been evacuated from their homes, the paper said.

With more rain forecast on Monday and Tuesday, Penrith staff will be anxiously watching the floodwaters on the Peach Tree Creek next to their training centre.

Penrith may be forced to shift their preparations for Thursday's NRL final re-match against Melbourne Storm if their training grounds become submerged.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)