SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 10: James Tedesco of the Blues celebrates scoring the match winning try during game three of the 2019 State of Origin series between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons at ANZ Stadium on July 10, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

NSW have had 11 players named in the Kangaroos' Origin Merit Team, following on from their 2-1 State of Origin series success.

Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga named the side following the tense three-game series, which ended with Man of the Series James Tedesco reclaiming the shield for the Blues for a second straight year following a last-gasp try at ANZ Stadium last Wednesday night.

Tedesco has been named at fullback in the side, and leads an all-Blues backline including the likes of Josh Addo-Carr and game two hero Tom Trbojevic.

Meninga was full of praise for Tedesco after the series, and was even comparing him to Billy Slater, who many believe to be the best fullback in the history of the game.

"He's a superstar," Meninga told of Tedesco.

"It's hard to imagine, but he's got even better than last year. He's the person you go to when your team is in trouble and he finds a way to deliver. For a while he had to bide his time with Billy Slater there in the Kangaroos No.1 jersey, and he just got on with the job and kept trying to improve to become a better player.

"Everyone reckons that Billy was the best fullback ever. I think James is not far behind him now to be honest with you. That's why he's the best fullback in the world, if not the best player in the world.

"He's been through some ups and downs in his career, but he's improved so much since going to the Roosters. His knowledge and leadership has gone to another level."

Kangaroos Origin Merit Team

James Tedesco

Blake Ferguson

Jack Wighton

Tom Trbojevic

Josh Addo-Carr

Cameron Munster

Daly Cherry-Evans

David Klemmer

Damien Cook

Josh Papalii

Boyd Cordner

Felise Kaufusi

Jake Trbojevic


Ben Hunt

Paul Vaughan

Cameron Murray

Josh McGuire


  1. I don’t think any of the current fullbacks can be compared with Billy Slater. He became a superstar early in his career and maintained his status for a long time until he retired. It will be a long time before we see another fullback as good as him imo.

  2. The only issue I would have is having ‘Grub McGuire’ on the bench…get rid of him and that’s a pretty decent looking side…

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