Wests Tigers fullback James Tedesco entered season 2016 as one of the brightest and most exciting young players in the competition, and finished it confirming that fact.

Despite missing seven games during the season with shoulder and jaw injuries, Tedesco still ended the year as the team’s equal top try-scorer (14), a State of Origin and Prime Minister’s XIII debutant, and certainly in contention for the Dally M Fullback of the Year.

His much anticipated State of Origin debut game in the Blues’ Game III victory, with the Camden Rams junior registering an incredible 260 metres and six tackle breaks in the win,

Part of the Club’s leadership group, Tedesco also found success off the field in 2016, named in the NRL’s Academic Team of the Year, and was once again voted by the Club’s Members as the Members’ NRL Player of the Year for the second year in a row.

Tedesco will feature in the Prime Minister’s XIII Test match against Papua New Guinea on September 24, and could come into contention to make his international representative debut for Australia later this year in the Trans-Tasman Test and Four Nations tournament.

At only 23 years of age, Tedesco is currently sixth on Wests Tigers all-time top try-scorers with 45, and has scored more tries than any other fullback in the Club’s history.

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2016 Year in Numbers

Games

Tries

Metres

Linebreaks

Try Assists

Tackle Breaks

17

14

2306m

15

12

106




Top Try — Round 22 vs. North Queensland Cowboys

Few individual tries will rank higher this season than Tedesco’s incredible effort in the final minute against the North Queensland Cowboys. Attacking the Cowboys’ line, Tedesco received the ball on the left edge — brushing away from 10 different attempted tackles — as he spun and dove his way over the line to confirm his side’s 26-14 victory.

 

Best Game — Round 17 vs. Penrith Panthers

Surprisingly, Tedesco’s best game of the season came in one when he didn’t cross the line for a try himself. Playing for a potential State of Origin berth against incumbent Pantehrs fullback Matt Moylan, Tedesco showed his class with a dominant attacking display — chalking up 161 metres, two linebreaks and two try-assists off 15 runs.

Those stats perhaps don’t tell the full picture of his dominance, either, with the 23-year-old’s ability to create space on the edge and attract defenders instrumental in his side running out 34-26 winners over the Panthers. Blues Coach Laurie Daley certainly took notice — two days later, Tedesco was named at fullback in the Blues’ team for Game III.



 

Magic Moment — Round 1 vs. New Zealand Warriors

He’d already finished off an incredible team try in the first half, but there was no hiding the elation on Tedesco’s face as he raced away to score his second try against the Warriors in Round 1. Picking up a kick just shy of halfway, Tedesco burned through the gap and raced away to score the match-sealing try in front of a vocal Campbelltown crowd — a special moment for the local junior playing on his childhood ground.

 

Milestones and Achievements

Wests Tigers Members Player of the Year

Wests Tigers NRL Top Try-Scorer

NRL-RLPA Academic Team of the Year

NSW State of Origin Representative — Game III

Prime Minister’s XIII Representative