Tight-lipped Tedesco refuses to address contract investigation
JAMES Tedesco insists controversy swirling around his lucrative Sydney Roosters contract won't slow his charge towards the Dally M Medal.
Third-party components of Tedesco's multi-million-dollar deal have reportedly caught the attention of the NRL Integrity Unit, but the superstar fullback refused to address the issue on Thursday.
"I'm not going to talk about that in the media. I'm not going to go into any detail about it at all," he said. "Can't say anything."
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Tedesco said the off-field drama, while lingering for some time, hadn't bothered him at all and who could argue given his scintillating 2019 form for both the Roosters and NSW in the State of Origin
"It's been going on for a while and I feel like my footy's been good and I'm feeling pretty good off the field as well. I'm enjoying myself, so it's not distracting at all," he said.
Tedesco's fullback battle with the Warriors' reigning Dally M Medallist and former Rooster Roger Tuivasa-Sheck shapes as a mouth-watering highlight in Sunday's SCG showdown between the premiers and New Zealand's top-eight hopefuls.
"He's a guy at the top of his game at the moment and the way he can step and break tackles is great to watch," Tedesco said.
"So it's a bit of a challenge for us to come up against that, to limit his opportunities and his space.
"But it's not really a one-on-one battle. It's more about just organising my defensive line to limit his chances."
Two of the most breathtaking runners in the game, Tedesco played down comparisons with Tuivasa-Sheck.
"He's got the big footwork and I can't do a running step. It's something he's mastered," Tedesco said.
"I guess our running game; breaking tackles and our speed and agility (is similar), but we're both sort of different and I enjoy just watching him on the TV doing his thing. It's pretty impressive."
Tedesco credits Roosters coach Trent Robinson for bringing the best out of him since his move from Wests Tigers at the start of last season.
But as much as the prospect of winning the NRL's most prestigious individual gong excites him, adding the Dally M Medal to the 2018 premiership and back-to-back Origin series wins with the Blues isn't driving the 26-year-old.
"It'd be nice. It would obviously be a huge honour to win that award, but I'm not really thinking about it too much," Tedesco said.
"I'm obviously thinking about doing my job for the Roosters and, then if I'm playing good footy, those accolades will come off the back of it.
"But I've been happy with how I've been playing this year. There's a lot of others who are playing good footy as well so it will be interesting to see who wins that."