Ahead of his 200th NRL appearance, Sydney Roosters fullback James Tedesco has advised that he’d rather play in the halves at Bondi than return to the club that gave him his NRL debut.
Though Tedesco is off-contract at the end of 2024, the NSW custodian has advised he wants to stay at the club as long as possible, especially after coach Trent Robinson committed to the tri-colours for another five years.
“That’s a big factor for me,” Tedesco told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“He’s the best coach I’ve ever had, I can’t thank him enough for not only what he’s done to my game and confidence on the field, but how he’s helped me as a leader off the field.”
The talk of a positional switch comes as the Roosters decide what to do with the talented trio of Tedesco, Joey Manu and Joseph Suaalii moving forward.
Manu plays No.1 at Test level and has also filled in for Tedesco during injury absences, while Suaalii also prefers the fullback role to his current position on the edge.
“It’s hard, because everyone wants to play fullback,” Tedesco said.
“It’s the position where you get your hands on the ball the most, and you’re allowed to be free which a lot of young players want.
“It’s tough because Suaalii and Joey are top-notch footy players.
“I played five-eighth for Italy at the (2017) World Cup, it could be an option down the track. The fullback and five-eighth roles are the same these days, you see Cameron Munster do it at Melbourne.
“It requires a different fitness. I’ll leave it to Robbo.”
Tedesco also spoke about his relationship with Benji Marshall, a good friend and future coach of the Wests Tigers, for whom Tedesco made his NRL debut back in 2012, eventually leaving during the ‘Big 4’ drama that beset the club in 2017.
Reports from weeks ago suggested that Marshall had reached out to Tedesco in an attempt to get him back to Concord and help the struggling club – but it’s something the Blues captain currently has no interest in.
“Benji lives down the road from me, before he was announced as coach at the Tigers he texted me about coming back.
“I never thought he was serious. I’m close with Benji but I’m very happy at the Roosters.”