James Tedesco has been given the ultimate tick of approval by the man he could replace as the New South Wales No.1 in Josh Dugan.
The Wests Tigers fullback is the talk of the competition after an electrifying start to the season that has also catapulted him into the frame for State of Origin.
Tedesco isn’t short of recommendations.
Blues coach Laurie Daley, captain Paul Gallen, club coach Jason Taylor, and club skipper Robbie Farah have all endorsed the 23-year-old over the past fortnight to make his Origin debut.
But it’s the vote of confidence from the incumbent fullback in Dugan that stands out the most.
“I don’t see why he wouldn’t be ready for Origin. He has definitely put his name forward,” Dugan said.
The duo are locked in a two-horse race for the No.1 jumper, with Penrith star Matt Moylan, who was named to make his first appearance of the season this weekend, a distant third.
Tedesco’s inexperience on the wing means Daley is more likely to push Dugan into the frontline, most probably to replace the injured Brett Morris on the flanks.
Morris’ wing partner last year, Will Hopoate, also faces a tough task justifying his selection as he misses the two games prior to Daley’s naming of the team due to his Mormon commitments.
Tedesco currently leads the NRL with five tries over the opening month of football, is sixth in all run metres with 627 and has also set up three tries.
Also in his favour is a club combination with Blues mainstays Farah and Aaron Woods.
“He’s a gun,” Dugan said.
“He’s playing some great footy and he’s kicked on where he left off last year. He’s one of the players of the future. I’m unsure what `Loz’ is going to do through so it’s up to him.”