The Roosters are on the verge of announcing a new contract for captain and superstar fullback James Tedesco, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.
That’s despite the wishes of the prodigious Joseph Suaalii to play at fullback and the fact the 19-year-old triggered an option in his contract to remain at the Tricolours until the end of 2024.
Tedesco was already contracted to the Roosters until the end of 2024, but is set to re-sign until at least the end of 2025.
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The eighth Immortal, Andrew Johns, last week tipped Tedesco to be squeezed out of the club due to the presence of Suaalii.
A mentor of Suaalii’s, Steve Nateski, made similar comments in September last year.
“I admire everything that James Tedesco has done and is doing — this is not a knock on Teddy at all — but I think he has to leave the Roosters next year or Joseph will be gone,” Nasteski said.
“Tedesco is a once-in-a-generation player, but Joseph is once in a lifetime. He is going to be the Michael Jordan of the NRL. No player, not Greg Inglis, not Izzy Folau, no one has had the impact of Joey in his first 18 games — and he is a fullback and he wants to be a fullback.
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“I told him when he went to the Roosters his pathway would be blocked. Teddy is the first choice, and maybe (Joseph) Manu is the second. Joseph will be better than both of those guys. Manu can play anywhere, but as good as Teddy is I think it’s fullback or nothing.
“So I think the Roosters will need to move Teddy on next year. The price if they don’t will be Joey. He is a fullback and a superstar.”
Tedesco has said on several occasions that he wants to remain a Rooster for the remainder of his career. The news that the Roosters, Blues and Kangaroos skipper is set to re-sign is a major step in that pursuit.
Suaalii and Rabbitohs ace Alex Johnston were named Dally M team of the year wingers in 2022, but Suaalii has shifted to the centres this year.
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