NRL News

Tedesco on verge of league's grand slam


Sydney Roosters player James Tedesco poses for a photograph after winning the Dally M Player of the Year award during the 2019 Dally M Awards (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

James Tedesco is on the verge of becoming the first player to complete rugby league's individual grand slam, after one of the most dominant seasons in memory.

Tedesco's maiden Dally M Medal on Wednesday night left just the Clive Churchill Medal missing from his cabinet ahead of Sunday night's grand final.

Easily the best player in the NRL over the past two seasons, the Sydney Roosters fullback's list of accolades is as long as it is impressive.

He claimed the Wally Lewis Medal this season for the best player in State of Origin, and has also been NSW's Brad Fittler Medallist for the past two years.

He also won the Harry Sunderland Medal for Australia's best player at the end of last year, and is the Roosters' reigning player of the season with the Jack Gibson Medal.

If the Roosters win on Sunday and Tedesco is man of the match, he would become the first player in history to win the Wally Lewis Medal, Dally M, grand final and Clive Churchill in the same year.

"It would be good (to win the Clive Churchill)," Tedesco said.

"We've got so many good players in our team, and if we do our job anyone could receive the award.

"Our goal is to win the game, and then congratulations to whoever can win that award."

The only other players to go close to achieving the feat are Johnathan Thurston and Peter Sterling.

Thurston claimed the Dally M and Clive Churchill in 2015 without the Wally Lewis Medal, while the State of Origin gong did not exist for Sterling in 1986.

Regardless of his incredible season, Tedesco won't let himself reflect until after the year is done.

He still has Sunday's grand final and two Tests to play for Australia against New Zealand and Tonga.

However he shows no signs of letting up.

In an incredible finish to the year, Tedesco polled 21 points of a possible 24 in the final eight rounds, only improving after scoring the series-winning try for NSW in State of Origin.

His final tally of 34 points was also the highest by any player in 12 years, dating back to Johnathan Thurston's 36 in 2007.

That will mean little to him though if the Roosters don't beat Canberra on Sunday.

"After the grand final (I will have it sink in)," he said.

"To win this (Dally M) medal it's a massive achievement.

"But my focus is on Sunday and once that is all done hopefully we can celebrate as winners and look back on an enjoyable year.

"That's been the focus all year ... I have to play my best game of the year on Sunday."

© AAP 2019