James Tedesco will play anywhere to make his State of Origin debut for NSW, but admits fullback is his best spot.
The Wests Tigers star No.1 is considered a strong chance of finally breaking into the Blues team for the Origin dead rubber in Sydney on Wednesday week.
However his belated opportunity could come on the wing in place of Blake Ferguson, with coach Laurie Daley understood to be hesitant to axe incumbent Matt Moylan in his rookie series.
Tedesco said he just wants to pull on the Blues jumper for the first time, but was quick to remind selectors of where he considers his best position to be.
“If I do get any chance to play Origin and put on that jersey, it’s a great opportunity. But I’m definitely more comfortable at fullback and that’s where I think I play my best footy,” Tedesco told AAP.
The 23-year-old claimed a points decision victory over his NSW rival in the Tigers’ 34-26 win over Penrith on Saturday night, setting up two crucial tries either side of halftime in a strong outing.
Tedesco burned fellow Blues hopeful Bryce Cartwright on both occasions, exposing the Panther’s lack of pace as a fill-in five-eighth that could deny him his own Origin debut.
The Tigers fullback admitted targeting Cartwright was a pre-meditated move.
“We know he’s more of a back-rower and he’s probably not suited to checking and releasing. So the plan was to use my speed out there to get on the outside of him and that worked a few times,” Tedesco said.
In what was the first career meeting between Tedesco and Moylan, the Panthers skipper also put his stamp on the game with two try involvements that set up an early lead.
The only other time the pair have met was in a NSW City Origin camp in 2015, when Moylan played fullback and Tedesco was experimented with on the wing.
Tedesco said it was his only game on the flanks since the start of his career in 2012.
“Tim Moltzen was playing fullback and I was coming back from a knee reconstruction and I was starting on the wing and drifting, I swapped with him for a few games,” he said.
“And then he did his knee as well so I started at fullback after that and haven’t been back since.”
Meanwhile veteran Greg Bird is another who faces the chop as the Blues seek to bring in some more new blood.
Cronulla forward Wade Graham is a strong candidate to take his place, which would lift the Blues’ number of Origin debutants this series to eight.
Possible NSW side: Matt Moylan, James Tedesco, Michael Jennings, Dylan Walker, Josh Mansour, James Maloney, Adam Reynolds, Aaron Woods, Robbie Farah, James Tamou, Josh Jackson, Tyson Frizell, Paul Gallen. Interchange: David Klemmer, Andrew Fifita, Wade Graham, Jack Bird.