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After his form and representative career came under question in 2023, James Tedesco showed why he remains of the NRL's premier big-game players in Sunday’s season opener in Las Vegas.

Finishing the match with 204 run metres, nine tackle breaks and a try assist, the Roosters skipper was at his damaging best as the Tricolours ran out 20-10 winners over the Broncos at Allegiant Stadium. 

After turning up ahead of schedule for the 2024 pre-season determined to get "fitter, faster and stronger", coach Trent Robinson said the 31-year-old’s performance was testament to his character by choosing actions over words.

“It’s pretty simple. Ted’s not going to come out and talk a lot and try and make excuses,” Robinson said.

“He’s going to perform to his ability and show that that was form and not a new place where his career is going to sit.

Tedesco happy to build on tough win

“He was going to say, ‘No I may not have been happy with some parts of it but I’m going to train hard and get back in earlier than when I’m supposed to, I’m going to train hard and play well’.

“That’s what Ted’s done since the end of the season, coming back in before Christmas and then you get those rewards and we saw that tonight.

“It’s a real credit to him.”

Having represented Australia in November’s Pacific Championships, Tedesco wasn’t required to report to pre-season training until after Christmas.

But the fullback said he knew work had to be done to rediscover the type of form that saw him achieve Dally M Medal honours.

Siua Wong Highlights vs. Brisbane Broncos

“It was my longest pre-season I’ve had in a couple of years, the past couple of years I’ve had stem cells and I’ve come back late and only having a couple of weeks under my belt before the start of the season,” Tedesco said.

“So I wanted to get in earlier, get my body right, get physically fit, strong and fast and like Robbo said, I just know that I need to work hard and once I put that work in, I can go out and play my footy.

“So I’m happy with the start, there’s obviously some improvements as well but I’m just happy with how the team performed because we all put in a lot of work over the pre-season.”

With Wests Tigers, Dragons and Bulldogs being the only sides to score less points than them in 2023, the Roosters unveiled what looked to be a new brand of attack in their season opener.

Junior Pauga Try

With Joey Manu also producing a statement Round 1 performance, scoring a try and laying another on, Robinson credited the ideas and processes brought in from new performance staff in the pre-season.

“We had Simon Jones come in from New Zealand as head of performance whose been exceptional for these guys. As well as a couple of the other performance guys who have been on point and pushing us,” he said.

Joseph Manu Try

“We’ve changed the way that we go about our training a bit, which has made a huge difference on our combinations tonight,

“The confidence and discipline that they went into tonight’s game with was evident just through a few changes.

“It’s credit to the staff at the end of the season and the players for coming back in and knuckling down into it.”

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.