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Madge welcomes  Tedesco's easy transition

Westpac NSW coach Michael Maguire said newly-installed fullback James Tedesco’s input into the team for tomorrow night’s opening game of the 2024 Ampol State of Origin had been “seamless”.

Tedesco, a veteran of 22 consecutive Origin matches, was recalled to the side due to the quadricep muscle strain suffered by Penrith No.1 Dylan Edwards.

Tedesco missed the first five days of Blues training, but Maguire wasn’t worried.

“The prep we’ve had in the background, and I’ve spoken to ‘Teddy’ (Tedesco) all the way through, so he’s basically fitted in seamlessly really," Maguire said.

“What a replacement to have someone like that coming in!

“He trained yesterday as though he’d been here awhile. He’s played with the players a fair bit, so he knows everyone.

“He’s fitted in really well – it’s been good.”

Maguire, who has won premierships in both the NRL and the Super League, said he wanted to kick off his Origin coaching career with a win. It has been a challenging period for NSW after losing the past two Origin series and a string of injuries to key players in the lead-up to the team being named for this year's series.

“I’m all about winning every game so that’s what tomorrow is about – doing that job first. That’s what our focus is,” he said.

“You can change history and I’ve been a part of teams that have changed history. This is no different.

“We want to make sure we get off to the start we want. We’ve prepared for it and that’s what we’re about.”

Maguire has coached more than 300 first grade games with South Sydney, the Wests Tigers and Wigan in the UK, alongside 18 Test matches for New Zealand. But he said he still got nervous before big games.

“Experience is one thing but I actually think nerves are good – I actually like it; that’s part of it," he said.

“If you don’t have them, you’re probably not at the right head space.

“It’s part of the reason why you love doing this, to be able to have that feeling of a big game and what that brings … there’s passion all around that. 

“It’s huge when you realise the enormity of what Origin is all about when you walk down the street.

“In club-land you’ve got your isolated group of fans. But when you’re talking about the state of nine million so it’s (passion) everywhere. I really enjoy 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.