James Tedesco has set his sights on becoming NSW’s long-term custodian after finally receiving the call-up to the Blues State of Origin side.
Due to his stellar NRL form Tedesco’s choice for game three next week was a mere formality.
He was ushered into Laurie Daley’s side on Monday in place of Matt Moylan who played fullback in games one and two.
“Now that I’ve got the opportunity as fullback I want to cement my spot,” Tedesco said at ANZ Stadium on Monday.
“A good performance next week could do that.”
“I’m just very excited and very proud to get this opportunity and can’t wait to get out there.
“I have been very happy with my form and feel I have done everything to get a chance.”
“I have not tried to focus too much on making Origin I, I have just focused on playing good footy for the Tigers.”
Wests Tigers star Tedesco struggled with a number of injuries early in his career. He said that experience taught him to be patient as he waited for his first Origin start, after he suffered a shoulder injury before the Blues team was picked for game one.
“Having that injury was disappointing, but I knew an opportunity would come,” he said.
“It was a goal coming into this year to play for NSW. I played my first full year last year and came into this year confident of my ability.”
“Through the injuries and what else I have gone through to get here I am just soaking it up and can’t wait to get out there.”
Blues skipper Paul Gallen said Tedesco throughly deserved his spot for Origin III in Sydney on July 13.
“Teddy, if he had not been injured, he would have been in in game one,” Gallen said.
“It is tough on poor Matty Moylan. He played really well while he was here. I am sure he will play plenty of Origin in the future.
“But Tedesco, when you are talking about guys who deserve to get picked and are knocking on the door that hard you can’t leave them out, that is him.”
Josh Dugan, who was NSW player of the series last year, had a stranglehold on the Blues fullback spot, but has more recently been preferred at centre by Daley.
He was picked at centre in game one but missed the match through injury and has been selected again there for game three.