Josh Dugan could be shifted to wing or centre to accommodate James Tedesco’s State of Origin debut at fullback, NSW coach Laurie Daley has said.
Tedesco continues to mount a near irresistible claim for the Blues fullback spot after four rounds of the NRL.
The NRL’s leading tryscoring didn’t manage to add to his tally of five tries in Wests Tigers’ Easter Monday loss to Parramatta but he did pull off two outstanding trysaving tackles.
Daley has certainly noticed Tedesco’s form two months out from when he names his team for the Origin opener on June 1 at ANZ Stadium.
“Dugan will be there, I am open minded at the moment where he will be,” Daley said at the launch of the Origin series on Tuesday.
“Everyone keeps asking about James Tedesco. Whether Duges plays fullback depends if James Tedesco is there but Duges will be there somewhere.”
With Brett Morris to miss the interstate series with a knee injury, a Blues wing spot is up for grabs. However Dugan is more likely to play on the flank than Tedesco.
“Tedesco at fullback is a good option, but I can’t see Josh Dugan not being in the team somewhere,” Blues skipper Paul Gallen said.
“But you need guys like Tedesco putting pressure on and Matty Moylan hopefully he can come back and play well.
“Tedesco is probably a specialist fullback. He is not the biggest bloke so I don’t know if wing would suit him in Origin but if he keeps going the way he is going, he would be a big asset.”
Daley said he would have no qualms moving the incumbent fullback Dugan, who was the Blues player of the series last season.
“It would not worry me to play him on the wing. It would not worry me to play him centre,” Daley said.
“I know he is a big game player and I know he loves playing for NSW. He has played six games and got players’ player in four or five of those, so he is a good player no matter where you put him.
“James Tedesco has been playing good football and hopefully that will continue.”