James Tedesco has won NRL premierships, Brad Fittler Medals, the Wally Lewis Medal and the Dally M Medal but he believes captaining the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues to a State of Origin series win in Brisbane would rank as one of the greatest achievements in his career.
Tedesco and the rest of his teammates put the finishing touches on their preparations for the Origin decider against Queensland at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night with a Captain’s Run at Morry Breen Oval in Wyong today.
The Blues turned in an emphatic performance in Sydney after beating the Maroons 34-10 to level the series at 1-all but know they will have to go up another notch on Wednesday night with the deck stacked against them in Brisbane.
The Queensland Government recently ruled that Suncorp Stadium could return to full capacity, only Blues fans from regional NSW can attend the game due to COVID-19 restrictions, and the team will have to set up camp at Suncorp Stadium for several hours before kick-off as they are not allowed in a hotel.
There’s also the fact that only two NSW teams in the history of State of Origin since it started in 1980 have come from a game down to win a decider at Suncorp Stadium – in 1994 and 2005.
“It would be up there, it would probably be top of my career so far,” Tedesco said, who took over as captain when Boyd Cordner withdrew from the series.
“I’ve had a fair few achievements but to lead the boys out in a decider, get a win and hold up that Shield I don’t think there’d be too many better feelings.
“It’s pretty cool to have that opportunity and it’s going to be a challenge but I’m looking forward to it.”
The Blues also know they will face a tougher challenge this time around with prop Christian Welch back after sitting out Game Two with concussion, Corey Allan shifts to fullback with Val Holmes moving to the wing, while Harry Grant joins the bench.
Most importantly, star five-eighth Cameron Munster also returns after sitting out most of Game Two from a head knock he suffered in the early exchanges.
“He’s a great player, he’s a big game player,” Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler said.
“He’s played in a lot of big games, he’s a real threat and we’ve got total respect for Cameron Munster and we just assume he’s going to be a constant threat.”