Wests Tigers coach Jason Taylor believes his star fullback James Tedesco is ready to play State of Origin football for NSW.
Taylor downplayed Tedesco’s hopes of playing interstate rugby league last year.
But the 23-year-old presented an irresistible case in the Tigers round two 36-22 win over Manly at Brookvale Oval on Monday night, with three tries in a man-of-the-match performance.
Blues great Andrew Johns, speaking on Triple M, said Tedesco would handle the step up to Origin and Taylor agreed.
“Yep, absolutely. We talked about that this time last year and I didn’t think he was,” Taylor said.
“He played every minute of every game last year and in my opinion, that’s a really easy decision.
“There’s not many better finishers in the game.”
With St George Illawarra coach Paul McGregor indicating he could move Josh Dugan back to fullback, after the Dragons’ underwhelming start to the season, Tedesco and the Blues incumbent custodian could be locked in a battle for the NSW No.1 jersey.
Dugan was named as the Blues’ best player last season and if coach Laurie Daley is unwilling to move him from the back, Tedesco could play on the wing given Brett Morris is unlikely to play in the 2016 Origin series due to a knee injury.
Tedesco also declared himself prepared for Origin after the win over Manly.
“I think I am ready,” Tedesco said.
“I just want to continue that form and if I do get that call-up I’ll take it with both hands.
“Coming into last year I had three or four seasons but only played a handful of games coming off serious surgeries. This year coming into pre-season the body was feeling really good.”
Tigers halfback Luke Brooks said Tedesco could add another dimension to the Blues attack.
“He has really come on as a ball player at fullback,” Brooks said.
“That is an area NSW have struggled with and I really think he could add something for them there.
“He would be a great addition to the NSW side.”