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Tedesco sets sights on premiership greats

James Tedesco has set his sights on being among the Sydney Roosters’ greatest premiership winners, determined to add to his illustrious list of honours at the NRL club.

Tedesco inked a new deal with the Roosters in December, keeping him there until 2024 and potentially paving the way for him to one day be discussed as a club great.

The 27-year-old already became the first man to win three straight Jack Gibson Medals last year, having been the team’s best every year since he arrived.

He has also led the NRL for tackle breaks in each of those years while setting up and scoring a combined 26 tries in 19 games last season.

But it is in the premiership-winning stakes that Tedesco would most like to leave his legacy after titles in 2018 and 2019.

Only Ray Stehr and Andrew Norval have won more than three premierships at the club, both in the 1930s and 1940s.

Of the current group Boyd Cordner, Jake Friend and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves have won three each, but Tedesco could well play beyond them.

Fred Kinghorn (1911-1913) and Tom Dowling (1935-37) are also the only players to have won multiple titles at fullback, with both logging three.

It means that with one or two more titles during his tenure, Tedesco can enter rare Roosters air.

“That would be cool. I think we definitely have a chance to do that with the team we have here,” Tedesco told AAP.

“That was the main reason I wanted to stay here because there is the chance to make history and be part of the successful culture.

“I haven’t given (being among the greats) too much thought, but if I keep playing good footy and we can be successful it does get my name up there.

“There have been so many great players here. Even just winning the award three years in a row was pretty special and cool.”

Tedesco is expected to be one of the big winners of the NRL’s quicker rules, after exploding out of the restart last year before defences eventually caught up.

The Roosters want the ball in his hands more, with Luke Keary to also have more touches.

“Similar things will probably happen this year, where it’s a real unknown for the first month or so,” Tedesco said.

“We’ve worked on a few things attacking wise and structurally on how our footy can adapt.

“It’s based on me and Keary just getting our hands on the ball as much as possible.”

But there is still one thing that makes Tedesco nervous: getting the kicking tee at times in 2021.

Siosiua Taukeiaho will be the club’s main man when on the field, but Tedesco is likely to be next in line depending on whether Adam Keighran plays.

“It’s new for me, I did a bit when I was younger but I just get nervous,” Tedesco said.

“I have to keep working on it, because I have only really started in January.”

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