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Roosters fullback James Tedesco.

James Tedesco insists there's "no bad blood" with Jai Arrow as the State of Origin foes prepare to meet in Friday night's Roosters-Rabbitohs grudge match.

Maroons enforcer Arrow was criticised after November's Origin decider for lifting a concussed Tedesco off the ground and then dropping him.

Arrow said he was unaware the Blues fullback had copped a knee to the head and quickly signalled for medical help once he realised the extent of the situation.

"I just want to come out and say that at first I was fired up, and honestly … I am not a grub like that," Arrow said at the time.

It seems Tedesco has let bygones be bygones as his Roosters look to avenge last year's 60-8 thumping. The clash at Stadium Australia will be Arrow's first cross-town derby for South Sydney.

"We're all friends, I'm not going to do anything ... There's no bad blood there," Tedesco said when asked about facing Arrow. 

Jai Arrow and James Tedesco.
Jai Arrow and James Tedesco. ©Grant Trouville/NRL Photos

"It's all good. That's footy, that happens."

Roosters coach Trent Robinson has indicated that lock Victor Radley could return from his ACL injury and suspension. Tedesco joked that "it could be dangerous" if the renowned hitman is cleared to play.

The fullback battle between Tedesco and former teammate Latrell Mitchell shapes as another interesting storyline. 

Mitchell has made no secret of his intention to become the NRL's best custodian after having to play in the centres - and winning back-to-back premierships - at Bondi with Tedesco owning the No.1 jersey.

Match Highlights: Wests Tigers v Roosters

Tedesco has started 2021 in red-hot form, scoring five tries in two games, while Mitchell was outstanding in Saturday's win over Manly.

"Nothing really changes for me. It's going to be a good talk-up in the media I suppose," Tedesco said.

"But just for us as a defensive line, their whole spine is playing some good footy in the first two rounds. Latrell at the back, the two halves, playing some good footy and Cookie [Damien Cook] at the ruck.

"It's just a challenge to control all of them ... [Latrell] is a big, strong guy who has skills like one of the best in the comp.

"You have to contain him and have a straight line on him. If you're coming out to defend him you can't go one-out because he's got those silky skills ... It doesn't really change if he is fullback or centre."

Tedesco said the Roosters "haven't really thought much" about their flogging at the hands of South Sydney in round 20 of last year.

Tedesco at the start, Tedesco at the finish

"It's going to be a different game. I don't know what happened that day but I can guarantee it won't be something similar. We're really happy with the way we've started [the season]," the 28-year-old said.

"There are little things we can work on but the first two games were pretty pleasing ... It's going to be a good test for us.

"They're a top side and we've probably had two pretty convincing wins and it's not going to be as easy against Souths. It's good, they've played some good footy early in the year."

 

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