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James Tedesco: A Century in Red, White and Blue

In one aspect, it’s hard to believe that James Tedesco has only played 99 matches for the Sydney Roosters, but in another, it’s felt like that time has breezed past like one of his many scintillating efforts.

Since his arrival in 2018, Tedesco has set the NRL alight in the famous Tricolours, and his accolades speak for themselves:

  • Roosters Premiership winner 2018, 2019
  • Dally M Player of the Year Medal 2019
  • Dally M Fullback of the Year 2019
  • Dally M Captain of the Year 2021
  • Jack Gibson Medal 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
  • Wally Lewis Medal 2019
  • Brad Fittler Medal 2018, 2019

James Tedesco's First 100 Tries in the NRL

In his 99 games in the Red, White and Blue, Tedesco has amassed 64 wins at a 65% winning rate, scoring 52 tries and kicking five goals for an impressive 218 points.

That tryscoring rate is the exact same that dynamic fan-favourite fullback Anthony Minichiello had in his first 99 matches for the Club – and we all know how his career panned out.

Tedesco has undoubtedly defined the role of the modern-day fullback, highlighted by his incredible work rate. No matter his level of fatigue or the scoreline, the electric fullback owns the moment with his ferocious competitiveness. 

Two moments that epitomise his determination and class came in 2019.

Magic Moment: Tedesco's Solo Effort Seals the Result

In the third match of the State of Origin series and heading into the final minutes, New South Wales and Queensland found themselves in a 20-all stalemate with the Origin shield on the line – enter James Tedesco.

In a last-ditch effort, the Blues swung the football right before former Rooster Blake Ferguson found space on the edge, streaking downfield while tip-toeing along the sideline to keep himself in.

James Tedesco Awarded Jack Gibson Medal

And screaming through in support was Tedesco, who dived over to seal the series as the Blues claimed back to back shields for the first time in a decade and a half.

Just months later in another close encounter in the 2019 Grand Final against the Canberra Raiders, it was the fleet-footed fullback coming onto a break from Daniel Tupou to touch down and seal the Club’s 15th Premiership in similar circumstances.

His leadership qualities have shone through in recent seasons too, firstly by taking the mantle from Jake Friend and Boyd Cordner as Easts’ Captain in 2021, where he helped lead an incredible charge to the finals despite being without a number of key players due to injuries and retirement.

It was no surprise to see his tireless efforts in his newfound leadership role landed him the Dally M Captain of the Year in 2021.

He also succeeded Club Captain Cordner to lead the Blues to a record-breaking series victory earlier in the year, and with the Rugby League World Cup looming later this year, it’s a fair assumption that he could very well be named Australia’s skipper in their quest to retain the Cup.

James Tedesco Season Highlights

At the Roosters, Tedesco has become regarded as one of the – if not the best – fullbacks in the game, and has expanded his game from a solo threat with the ball in hand to a player who is equally adept at putting his teammates over the line with his combination of skill and strength. 

With 68 try assists and 77 line breaks as well as a whopping 20,064 total running metres in his first 99 games for the Club, his average of 202 metres displays that he truly is everywhere on the field.

Now with a number of troops back in the line up and with a host of up-and-coming talent making their way through under Coach Trent Robinson, Tedesco very well could find himself vying for a third title in his tenure at Bondi. 

While he is just about to tick over a century in Roosters colours, one can only imagine what can be achieved in the next 100 for James Tedesco.

Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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