Wests Tigers fullback James Tesdesco is set for a massive finish to 2016 after excelling in his long-awaited Origin debut last week, according to impressed teammates.
Blues and club teammate Aaron Woods was delighted for the Camden Rams junior after the 23-year-old racked up match-highs in run metres (260) and tackle busts (six) on his interstate debut.
"I think he would have grown a lot from Game Three," Woods said at Tigers training this week.
"He would have gone into Origin not knowing if he was ready or not but I think the way he played he showed everybody up. I thought he was enormous."
Woods added Tedesco would, and should, have played the whole series but for an untimely shoulder injury shortly before the Game One team was selected.
"To see Teddy get that chance in Game Three and to take it with both hands is enormous and I think he's going to come back here with a lot of confidence and it's going to be a massive game for the Tigers."
It's hard to imagine Tedesco could find the supposed 'next level' after a blistering 18 months in black, white and gold that has netted him 28 tries in 37 games. This season he has 80 tackles breaks in just 13 games with 11 try assists and five try saves.
"I was that happy for him. I've known how hard he's worked for the past two years just to get on the park week in week out and it's a credit to Teddy that he's got his body in the right state," Woods added.
"He eats well now, his prehab is second to none and just to see how hard he's worked it's a credit to Teddy and I was that happy for him."
Tigers centre Kevin Naiqama was also unsurprised by Tedesco's impressive Origin debut.
"He had a great game, I thought he didn't look out of place at all. I thought he would have been there a bit earlier in the series, even last year he was playing enough good football to be in the team," Naiqama said.
"I'm just real happy for him that he finally got the chance and I don't think he let anyone down."
Added prop Tim Grant: "He's always humble... to be surrounded with the best in the game and to shine I think he's going to bring so much back to us and understand his role in this team but also in the NRL."