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Tedesco can be great at Roosters: Mini

NZN 4/05/2017 Warren Barnsley

James Tedesco can become a fullback great and Sydney Roosters now stand to get the best of his NRL career, believes club legend Anthony Minichiello.

Tedesco's departure from the Wests Tigers was made official on Thursday, with the 24-year-old to join the Roosters on a four-year deal from next year.

He's already the reigning Dally M fullback of the year and incumbent NSW State of Origin No.1 after making his debut in the last game of the 2016 series.

But Roosters ambassador Minichiello, a mate and mentor who played a key role in securing Tedesco, says that is just scratching the surface of what he can achieve.

"He (Tedesco) is a fantastic player - a young kid who's willing to learn and wants to improve his game," he told AAP.

"He's a great signing for us. He's definitely got potential to be one of the best fullbacks in the game, without doubt.

"He can go on to represent NSW for a long time and eventually Australia as well."

Tedesco appears set to replace 33-year-old Roosters fullback Michael Gordon, who's on a one-year deal, though Minichiello hoped Gordon could be retained at the club.

"He (Gordon) is a great guy, great player, great goalkicker. I've always admired the way he plays and he's been in fantastic form this year,," he said.

"Roosters young gun Latrell Mitchell had been viewed as a potential longterm fullback though he has made his best impression at centre this season.

"Competition for spots is good," said Minichiello. "You want a strong roster. That's what brings the best out of players."

Confirmation of Tedesco's departure means Wests Tigers have failed to keep three of their biggest off-contract stars, with captain Aaron Woods (Canterbury) and five-eighth Mitchell Moses (Parramatta) also to exit, while halfback Luke Brooks signed a new two-year deal.

New Tigers coach Ivan Cleary has moved quickly to fill the gaps since his recent arrival, signing Kiwis international prop Ben Matulino and Bulldogs five eighth Josh Reynolds.

Anticipating Tedesco's exit, the Tigers have shown interest in out-of-favour but talented Warriors player Tui Lolohea.

"I like the way Lolohea plays but that's up to Ivan and what he wants to build at the club," said Minichiello.

"He's already made some good signings...I think he's trying to build a different culture there, which is a good thing."

JAMES TEDESCO'S NRL CAREER

Age: 24

Debut: v Cronulla, round one 2012

Games: 78

Rep honours: NSW (one cap), Prime Minister's XIII (one cap), City Origin (two caps), Italy (three caps)

Awards: Dally M fullback of the year (2016)

2016 stats: 17 games, 14 tries, 2306 metres, 15 line breaks

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