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James Tedesco laughs off NSW form concerns amid key admission


James Tedesco insists NSW’s pick-and-stick mentality will not come back to bite them in State of Origin I, convinced he and several other big players will find form around each other.

Tedesco has this season come under fire for his performances for the first time in his career after being limited to three tries and four assists in 10 games for the Sydney Roosters.

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Tom Trbojevic’s form has also been heavily scrutinised in the opening months of the season, before his timely hat-trick for Manly hours before the Origin side was selected.

Five-eighth Jarome Luai had question marks over his selection after a quiet start to 2023 as he adapted to a new Penrith left edge, while Josh Addo-Carr, Liam Martin and Tevita Pangai have had limited game time.

Critics have also questioned why Campbell Graham and Dylan Edwards missed selection in the 17 after being the outstanding backline players in the NRL this year, while the in-form Nicho Hynes is only on the Blues’ bench.

James Tedesco has been all smiles at NSW Blues training this week. Credit: Getty Images

But Tedesco is adamant questions over the form of key players will prove irrelevant come Wednesday night, saying he and Trbojevic, in particular, have been in under-performing club teams.

“You don’t lose quality over a couple of bad games or when your team is not going too well,” Tedesco told AAP.

“You may lose confidence, but that’s on you as an individual to hold that confidence.

“Turbo probably still has more in him. It’s just the result of the team.

“I’m in a similar spot; when the team is not going well you’re trying to do things and it’s not as fluent as you would like.

“And once you get in here and you get around the players that are playing some really good footy and are confident, that rubs off on you and on the team.”

James Tedesco with NSW Blues teammates Nathan Cleary and Tyson Frizell during training. Credit: Getty Images

Tedesco pointed to his second half against St George Illawarra last Friday as proof. The Roosters enjoyed more ball and territory, and he benefited with eight tackle busts and two tries.

“It hasn’t really been about me. I just feel like it’s about getting the team playing as a team,” Tedesco said.

“We haven’t been doing that. When everyone is doing their job as a team that allows me to play my best footy.

“We saw it in the second half when we were on top and had momentum and I was able to create some opportunities.

“Before that I was trying to play off no ruck speed or no momentum, or we were just making errors with no field position. They all go hand in hand.”

NSW players were given Saturday off after they broke camp for the weekend on Friday evening, and will return to training on Sunday.

They are hopeful Payne Haas will be able to shrug off an ankle sprain to participate in that session, before the group fly to Adelaide on Monday morning.

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Source: 7News