AJ Carr - Cardiff


James Tedesco's year just keeps on getting better.


The Wests Tigers fullback starred for Italy in their 32-16 defeat of Wales on Saturday night (UK time) in front of a passionate 45 thousand strong crowd, scoring a try and setting up others with genuine attacking quality.


The fact that he did it from the unfamiliar position of right centre is testament to the confidence the youngster has taken from just two weeks with his newly assembled countrymen.


International tournaments are renowned for their ability to inspire young players to lift upon their return to club football.


Jarryd Hayne credits his famous 2009 season, in which the Parramatta fullback was near unstoppable in almost single handedly driving the Eels to the Grand Final, to his 2008 World Cup experience with the country of his heritage - Fiji.


While it might be optimistic to expect Tedesco to reproduce those sorts of performances, the Wests Tigers junior is already showing signs he will vastly improve on his 2013 season, one in which he was awarded Club Rookie of the Year.


His performance in front of a partisan Welsh crowd at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium will have Wests Tigers fans salivating at the prospect of watching the young star in 2014.


"It was very good," said Tedesco.


"The atmosphere was crazy, it was the biggest crowd I've played in front of.


"It was a great experience. It was a tough game but we came home strong."


The Italy team contains a host of NRL and Super League stars, including Wests Tigers grand final hero Anthony Laffranchi. The Azzurri have formed a tight knit group in a short space of time, and the camaraderie amongst the group is having an undoubted effect on Tedesco.


"It's a great experience, I think i'm going to take a lot of confidence out of this," said Tedesco.


"I'm looking forward to getting back to pre-season. I'm excited for next year."


Wests Tigers captain and Australia star Robbie Farah believes this tournament will have an immeasurable effect on the Club's youngsters when they return for 2014.


"It will be massive," said Farah. "Not only representing their country, but coming up against the quality of players that they're going to come up against.


"Teddy is a great example. He's been in camp this whole time with a player like Anthony Minichiello who is a fullback and has achieved it all our game.


"I'm sure he'll be hanging off every word he says."


Tedesco's Italy may well become the fairytale story of the 2013 World Cup, showing impressive ability to move away from Wales in the closing quarter of their opening match.


This followed up a shock 15-14 warm up win over England a week before.


"I think we're very confident at the moment," said Tedesco. "We beat England last week and we've got another win today.


"We've got Scotland and Tonga to come, they're going to be tough games.


"We've got a strong forward pack and we've got a bit of strike power out wide."


And while Tedesco is undoubtably focused on his tournament with Italy, he also has one eye on getting back to Club football with Wests Tigers.


"As I said before, I'm feeling really confident and excited to get back to training with the boys," said Tedesco.


"2013 was a tough season for us, especially with so many injuries. They might have been a blessing in disguise, though.


"A lot of us young guys now have a season of NRL under our belt that we probably wouldn't have had otherwise.


"I hope the fans will come out and support us. Playing in front of a big crowd tonight was crazy.


"I'd love to do that every week."


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