The addition of international hooker Brandon Smith can only enhance the strike power of the Sydney Roosters - especially fullback and Westpac NSW Blues captain James Tedesco.
That’s the opinion of True Blue Craig Wing, who won a premiership with the Roosters in 2002.
Smith’s toughness and work ethic would be an absolute boon for the tricolours, he said.
“He’s also got that bit of X-factor about him with his ball-playing,” he said.
“I like the way he can change the tempo of the game – he can be really explosive at times putting doubt in the opposition minds, while also being steady and reliable every week.”
Tedesco finished 2022 averaging 212 running metres a game, scoring 13 tries for the year and 12 try assists.
Linking with Smith at No.9 would not only give Tedesco added impetus but help halves Sam Walker and True Blue Luke Keary as well, according to Wing.
“Being such a skilful player Brandon will take a lot of the heat off the other spine members by being able to take the reins a bit more,” Wing said.
“It will create more opportunities for the halves and Teddy because Brandon is really good at picking the right time to run.
“He can come off the back of a Tedesco run and take the ball and go again. Then Teddy can load up once more giving the Roosters even greater strike power.”
Wing was speaking during his third NSWRL Regional Hogs Tour – this time through outback NSW centres like Dubbo, Bourke, and Walgett where Origin coaches Brad Fittler and Kylie Hilder are urging children to register for another Rugby League season.
Wing, and Manly Sea Eagles 1987 premiership-winning forward Ron ‘Rambo’ Gibbs, are on hand too.
“It’s fantastic for Rugby League but also fantastic for the local towns and communities,” Wing said.
“You see mums and dads coming to the clinics with the kids – everybody loves getting involved.
“And Freddy is unreal. He’s just ridden for four or five hours in the heat, but he gets off his bike and jumps straight into running around with the kids.”
Wing is no slouch either in giving himself a solid workout.
He was out in the middle of Davidson Oval in Bourke for more than 40 minutes after the clinic officially ended on Monday, sending up bombs for the kids to catch and pass back to him.
“You know what, kids are the same everywhere regardless of where that is,” Wing said.
“You stick a football in their hand, and they want to pass, catch or kick it.
“The country kids love it as much as city kids and I just loved putting it up in the air and seeing the delight on their faces when they nail that high ball.”