Sydney Roosters fullback James Tedesco.
Sydney Roosters fullback James Tedesco.

Tedesco eyes Slater-like combo with Cronk

JAMES Tedesco has set his sights on emulating Billy Slater's combination with Cooper Cronk as the pair prepare for their NRL campaign together at the Sydney Roosters.

Tedesco has worked closely with Cronk throughout the Roosters' pre-season and scored two tries in their trial win over Manly on Saturday.

Slater and Cronk won four grand finals together during their 12-year partnership at Melbourne, and also claimed four State of Origin series and two World Cups.

And now Tedesco is excited about the prospect of trying to create something similar in the two years he is likely to spend with Cronk at Bondi.

James Tedesco of the Roosters scores a try during a trial.
James Tedesco of the Roosters scores a try during a trial.

"The combinations he's had with Billy over the years has been one of the best, and being able to create our own combinations is exciting," Tedesco said.

"He's awesome, he's got those game smarts and experience is second to none.

"I've learned a lot off him in the pre-season in attack and in defence as well. He's a very smart guy.

"I can't wait to keep working with him but we had a solid start on the weekend and it's going to keep growing over the season."

Tedesco has already developed into one of the most dangerous players in the NRL, but he is already salivating at what his stint at the Roosters can do for his own career starting with their round-one clash against his old side the Wests Tigers.

James Tedesco scored a double on his club debut for the Roosters
James Tedesco scored a double on his club debut for the Roosters

The NSW fullback was often the centre-point of the Tigers' attack, but will have a different role at the Roosters given he will play alongside six other high-profile representative stars.

"The quality of players I'm playing with here is going to be more beneficial," he said.

"(Cooper)'s dominated the game for many years and having that makes it easier. He'll be able to create space for me and I will be able to create space for the guys outside me.

"It's going to make my job easier and take a lot of pressure off me."

Tedesco also revealed how close he went to signing with Canterbury after he opted against staying at the Tigers last season.

Roosters signing James Tedesco with Blake Ferguson. Picture: Brett Costello
Roosters signing James Tedesco with Blake Ferguson. Picture: Brett Costello

Former Bulldogs chairman Ray Dib claimed last month Tedesco would have joined Aaron Woods at the club if they'd also signed Mitchell Moses, but the fullback insisted that wasn't the reason why he chose the Roosters over Canterbury.

"That wasn't the be-all and end-all," he said.

"I chose the Roosters because speaking to Mini (Anthony Minichiello) and Robbo (Trent Robinson) as well. Those guys spoke in detail about how good this club is.

"In the end I knew this would be the best club for me and that's why I chose it."


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