Now that Wests Tigers fullback James Tedesco has been given his long-awaited chance to play Origin, his clubmates have backed him to nail down the spot long term.
Just last week, several Wests Tigers players told NRL.com Tedesco simply must be picked for Origin III now that he is back fit and still in form. Days later they got their wish and now the 23-year-old's teammates have backed him to make the spot his own.
"I'm stoked for him, he deserves it, he's been through all the injuries and everything and he's worked his arse off to get back and I'm just happy for him and hopefully the boys get a win for him," Wests Tigers five-eighth Mitch Moses said.
Tedesco, having twice fought back from serious season-ending injuries early in his career, has worked incredibly hard to get where he is now, according to Moses.
"Since his debut (in Round 1, 2012) when he did his ACL that first one, then worked so hard to get back, came back and was playing good footy and did his knee again (fracturing a patella against Canberra in Round 16, 2014)," Moses said.
"It's a credit to him the way he comes back and the way he held his head and just the footy he's come back to playing. He is or close to the best fullback in the game at the moment.
"He'll have a lot of pressure on him, Queensland will definitely be testing him out but I'm sure he can handle it. He's got there so I'm sure he'll grab it with both hands."
Wests Tigers winger David Nofoaluma – a fellow Wests Magpies junior – said he was expecting to head out to ANZ Stadium next Wednesday night to support his mate.
"We're all rapt for him. I couldn't be more happy for him," Nofoaluma said.
"With all the injuries that happened in his past it's made him stronger as a person and a player so that's happened for him for a reason. Good on him. I'm sure he'll kill it. I'm confident because I know he's a confident player so I'm sure he'll keep that No.1 jersey."
This article first appeared on NRL.com