New South Wales Origin star James Tedesco became the first player to win consecutive Brad Fittler Medals at the NSW Rugby League awards ceremony on Monday night.
The award was presented to the best New South Wales player in a winning State of Origin series and the 26-year-old Sydney Roosters fullback joins three-time medal winner Jarryd Hayne as the only Blues to collect the award on multiple occasions.
His 695 metres gained and 19 tackle breaks led all comers in the 2019 edition and his two series tries both came in the pivotal third game, including the last-gasp 79th-minute winner to clinch NSW’s first back-to-back Origin successes since 2004-05, when the Brad Fittler Medal was first introduced.
“This is an unbelievable honour and it’s a very humbling experience for me to win back-to-back Brad Fittler Medals,” Tedesco said after receiving the award with its namesake in attendance as NSW coach to present the honours.
“I love pulling on the sky blue jersey and playing alongside so many great players and in front of so many passionate NSW supporters.”
After his successful campaign, Tedesco was named Wally Lewis Medallist for his heroics and the rewards were further capped off Monday with an additional (and very comfortable) win in the Daily Telegraph People’s Choice Award.
“It was such an awesome feeling to win the decider in Sydney and I was so proud of the way the boys dug deep to defend the Shield,” Tedesco said.