Roosters unhappy with James Tedesco’s State of Origin recall

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Roosters decision-makers were reportedly “not happy” with the circumstances surrounding James Tedesco’s recall to NSW, amid growing calls for the NRL to introduce an Origin period during the season.

On Sunday, the Blues confirmed that their first-choice fullback Dylan Edwards was out with a hamstring injury, sending an SOS to the Tricolours on the day of their Round 13 match.

His omission highlights a larger issue surrounding State of Origin, where more than 100 premier league players will be unable to take to the field at the weekend.

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36 players are selected and cannot play for their respective states. Over 75 NRL players are also ruled out due to various injuries.

There were injuries in both states: The Blues were missing Nathan Cleary and Tom Trbojevic, among others, while the Maroons were without Tom Flegler and Tom Gilbert.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs were without Josh Addo-Carr for eight to ten weeks in Round 13 due to a hamstring injury and experienced Dolphins player Jesse Bromwich suffered a possible pectoral muscle tear.

Now veteran rugby league reporter Phil Rothfield has reignited the debate over whether NRL decision-makers should suspend premier class competition for three weeks to play Origin.

He also revealed that Roosters bosses were convinced that Tedesco’s appointment could make the difference between victory and defeat against the Cowboys.

“The circumstances surrounding the dismissal of James Tedesco, the Roosters management is not so happy with how it turned out,” Rothfield said at the Big sports breakfast.

“Clubs have to give up a lot in relation to State of Origin. Yesterday’s game (between the Cowboys and Roosters) was missing ten players and then Tedesco had to pull out.

“They were not happy because it happened on game day. They were OK with giving up on all the other players a week ago when the teams were announced.

“They believe that in a close football match it could be the difference between winning and losing. Tedesco may have held the team together with his leadership.

“You can’t blame James for wanting to play. It would have been interesting if he had thrown them back and been dirty.”

Rugby legend Laurie Daley then asked if NRL decision-makers were considering a representative period.

“We’ve had 100 NRL players missing since last weekend… we’ve had an unprecedented series of calf and hamstring injuries to really high-profile players,” Rothfield said.

“The Pongas, the Turbos, you know, Adam Reynolds, Nathan Cleary. I spoke to Peter V’landys at the weekend and he said it was something they needed to look at.

“It’s because of the wear and tear on the players. Origin goes from round 13 to round 20. That’s a big part of the NRL season.

“When they come back it’s only six weeks and I think that’s a discussion and debate that needs to be had in the game.

“We can see some young talent emerging, but I looked at the ratings and both were declining.

“It’s really difficult: if you spread it over seven weeks, if you make it three weeks and put a few replays around it… you’re playing it in the middle of the year.”

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Rothfield also explained that three weeks without club football would only make fans hungrier to watch and attend games for the rest of the season.

“Even though we have to do without club football for three weeks, you know how hungry we are for the first round of tests at the start of the year,” he said.

“The three-year break will make us even hungrier.”

Daley believes Michael Maguire could face a tough decision if Tedesco fails in the opening game of the series.

“You almost have to reward Teddy if he plays well and NSW wins. It would be hard to imagine Edwards playing in Game II,” Daley said.

“If you needed a player for a football team in the short term, it would be James Tedesco with all the experience he has gained over the years.

“He was a key part of that NSW team, so I have no problem with Teddy coming in and they’re not too different in what they do in a game.

“They (NSW) don’t have to move the deck chairs to get him to sit down.”

Originally published as ‘They were not happy’: Roosters angry about Tedesco’s appointment

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