Impressive Wests Tigers fullback James Tedesco has started 2016 where he finished off his momentous 2015 and one of the players closest to him says Blues selectors would be mad not to give the Camden Rams junior a crack at the No.1 jersey this year.
Wests Tigers playmaker Mitch Moses was in awe of Tedesco's feats last Saturday as the pair guided their team to a thrilling win over the late-surging Warriors, the fullback notching two tries and a whopping seven tackle busts.
"Teddy's Teddy, he's picked up where he left off last year and I'm happy to see that. He's going to really push to play Origin this year and I think if they don't pick him they're kidding themselves," Moses told NRL.com.
"He really deserves it, he's worked hard this pre-season, to come back from what he's had with those injuries [in previous years] and be playing the footy he has, it's amazing. He really deserves it but that will be up to Laurie [Blues coach Laurie Daley]."
St George Illawarra's Josh Dugan was one of the Blues' best in a losing series last year, playing all three games at fullback, but seems to be locked into a full-time move to the centres this season.
Daley guaranteed Dugan will be involved in the Blues 17 for Game I in some capacity if fit and playing well but left the door ajar for the 23-year-old Tiger and City Origin representative.
"Dugan will be in the team, we're not sure where that will be yet but as long as he's playing well and he's fit he'll be in the squad," Daley told NRL.com.
"Teddy's a good young player, you've also got [Penrith fullback Matt] Moylan who is another good young player you could throw in at the back. You want those blokes playing really well to make our decision tough and force their way in. It will be good if we get more guys putting pressure on the incumbents."
Tedesco's early-season form did catch the eye of ex-Manly coach and former series-winning NSW captain Geoff Toovey.
"I like both players [Tedesco and Moylan], I like Dugan at fullback as well though, just the way he carries the ball and is a threat at the back," Toovey told NRL.com.
"But Tedesco – wow. He's creative, always dangerous when he's got the ball in his hand as well.
"They (Dugan and Tedesco) are different styles of players but both fantastic. Whether you have to move one to the centres to make way for the other I think will be decided one way or the other over the next couple of months."