Queenslanders on high alert for resurgent Tedesco

Scott Bailey and Joel Gould |

James Tedesco, who originally missed selection, will line up for NSW in Origin I.
James Tedesco, who originally missed selection, will line up for NSW in Origin I.

Queensland are on high alert for a destructive James Tedesco, with Daly Cherry-Evans believing Australia’s Test captain will have a point to prove in State of Origin I.

Tedesco slotted back into Blues training on Monday, just eight days after being told by coach Michael Maguire he had been axed as the NSW No.1.

With news Dylan Edwards has suffered a quad strain, Monday was Tedesco’s only full session to slot into the Blues structures before Wednesday night.

Tedesco insists he does not have a point to prove while playing for the Blues, and that he had supported Maguire’s decision to pick Edwards ahead of him.

But Queensland know they will face a fullback scorned at Accor Stadium.

Tedesco is among the game’s most dangerous fullbacks when at his best, with his man-of-the-series efforts in 2019 when he bust 18 tackles, set up three tries and scored two a prime example of that.

“We will be on high alert for Teddy,” Maroons captain Daly Cherry-Evans said. 

“I am sure he will come out with a point to prove. 

“We will do a bit of homework on him, but predominantly our week is around preparing for how we want to play.

“He has obviously been a big part of the NSW side for such a long time. 

Daly Cherry-Evans (right) and James Tedesco (left).
Daly Cherry-Evans (right) believes James Tedesco (left) will cause plenty of problems in Origin I. (Jono Searle/AAP PHOTOS)

“I am sure it has been a crazy 48 hours for Teddy, but he is someone that has done the job well for them before.”

Tedesco slotted straight in at the back for NSW in an opposed session against Canterbury’s under-21s side on Monday.

He will partake in a captain’s run on Tuesday morning, before playing a record 23rd straight Origin for NSW on Wednesday.

Tedesco has admitted he went through a roller-coaster week after being dropped by Maguire, before being told on Saturday to be on standby to play for NSW.

But despite his limited build-up, NSW have no doubt about the 31-year-old’s ability to slot into their side.

“It certainly gives the boys confidence, knowing there’s someone who’s been there and done it, better than most on that stage,” lock Isaah Yeo said. 

“He’s been tremendous for NSW for a long time. It’s his 23rd game in a row, you don’t do that by chance, you do that by excelling in that jersey. 

“It’s good for the boys to know they’ve got the confidence he’ll come in and do a wonderful job for us. 

“There’s no excuses for us. It’s happened for Queensland before in previous years where they’ve had late withdrawals, so, come Wednesday night, there’s no excuses.”