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Wests Tigers have today confirmed that fullback James Tedesco will leave the club at the end of 2014 to join the Canberra Raiders for three seasons.

The club has worked very closely with Tedesco’s management in an effort to keep him at the club he has played with since the age of 13 and will be disappointed to see him leave.

Tedesco has played 25 NRL games for Wests Tigers since making his debut in Round 1, 2012, scoring 12 tries in that time.

Wests Tigers CEO Grant Mayer said that the club will continue with its policy of developing local juniors into stars of the NRL.

“James has grown up in the Wests Tigers system and we’ve made it absolutely clear that developing local juniors is a priority for this club,” said Mayer. “In the last 12 months we’ve retained local juniors Luke Brooks, Aaron Woods, Tim Simona, David Nofoaluma, Curtis Sironen, Mitchell Moses and Sauaso Sue, and are disappointed to confirm that James will leave the club at the end of the 2014 season.

“The discussions with James’ management were complex. When another club identifies one of our players as their marquee signing we simply cannot compete with that,” he said. “We wish James well in his new venture and thank him for his dedication and commitment to Wests Tigers over the past eight years.

“James has made it clear that his priority for the remainder of the year is to achieve success with Wests Tigers and we look forward to seeing him back on the park as soon as he’s recovered from his current injury,” said Mayer. “We have no doubt that that in our system there are young players who will reach the levels of the likes of Farah, Woods, Brooks and Sironen and look forward to bringing them into the NRL in the future.”

Tedesco informed his team mates of his decision this morning, saying that it was a tough conversation to have.

“It wasn’t easy to tell the guys, they are a great group of players, and close friends of mine,” said Tedesco. “This wasn’t an easy decision for me to make and I’d like to thank Wests Tigers for their support during the process.

“I’m fully committed to Wests Tigers for the remainder of the 2014 season and can’t wait to get back onto the field and join my team mates,” he said. “We’ve had some good wins to start the year and are confident that we’ll be in the mix come finals time.”

Acknowledgement of Country

Wests Tigers respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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