QUEENSLAND halfback Cooper Cronk says exciting NSW fullback James Tedesco’s Origin credentials will receive the same stern examination as any rookie stepping into the toughest arena in rugby league.
The Storm star, along with halves partner Johnathan Thurston, will spearhead that test on Wednesday night, their experienced kicking games making sure Tedesco’s Origin debut is pressurised.
The 23-year-old’s ability to beat defenders at pace has seen him develop into one of the NRL’s most dangerous ball runners, and an attacking weapon for Wests Tigers.
Tedesco, who has already been warned by NSW teammates to expect a physical welcome to Origin, has forced Penrith fullback Matt Moylan out of the No.1 jumper, not because he had been poor in the first two games, but because Tedesco’s form was so irresistible.
“I thought Matt Moylan was one of their better players,” Cronk said.
“But Tedesco (above) is a very good player. He brings some things to a football team that not many players can do. But Origin tests you physically and mentally ... there is no better arena to test out players.
“Obviously his speed and footwork are his strengths but he’s also got some weaknesses and we’ll do our homework and come up with a game plan that hopefully nullifies his impact.”