James Tedesco contract: Roosters skipper hopeful of new deal despite Joseph Suaalii dilemma

James Tedesco has remained hopeful of signing a new deal with the Roosters – but the superstar fullback admitted his contract status is the last thing on his mind early in the season.

Despite being contracted until the end of 2024, Tedesco’s status at Bondi has become a hot topic in recent weeks as the club look to lock down their biggest stars long-term.

Joseph Suaalii has indicated his desire to play fullback in the future, while Kiwi superstar Joey Manu has also proven himself to be one of the best No.1s in the world despite predominantly playing centre at club level.

On a recent episode of Immortal Behaviour, league great Andrew Johns put a rather premature spotlight on the dilemma facing the Roosters at the end of next year.

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“It’s the right club – no one manages their roster better than the Roosters,” he said. 

“They’ve got a big decision to make, because I’d imagine the management of Joseph would’ve pretty much said, ‘If he’s staying here we’d like to see him play fullback’…he’s got 15 years in front of him

“I have no idea – but the top clubs make the tough decisions. Me personally, I would keep Teddy on for a while, but we’ll see.

“The really top teams manage it well and they move the player a year before their use-by date, so there’s some big decisions to make on Teddy.

“I think Teddy can be at the top of his game until he’s 34-35. It might sound silly, but what will extend his career is all the injuries he had earlier in his career, he had those knee problems so he missed about two years of footy.”

Tedesco remains one of the best players in the competition and with a litany of achievements at both club and representative level throughout his career, there is a belief that he has earned the right to decide where he finishes up in the NRL. 

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was previously forced to bide his time on the wing at the Tricolours early in his career, and while Suaalii could be stuck in the centres for another four or five years, he would also be in a successful system that opens doors for Origin and international opportunities.

Speaking to the media on Monday, Tedesco was quick to shut down speculation regarding his future but admitted he is keen to finish his career at the Roosters.

“I haven’t read too much into it, to be honest – it’s two years away,” he said.

“For me it’s about taking it one game at a time and my role here at the moment is to captain this club and lead us to victories. I know everyone likes to talk about different situations, but that’s been my thoughts going into the year.

“I don’t think anyone would want to leave the club, especially myself – I want to stay here as long as I can. Having guys like Joseph Suaalii and Joseph Manu outside spine, it’s pretty dangerous.

“If we can get us all together playing for many years to come, I think it’s pretty beneficial for the club.


“Of course I want to finish my career here, but there’s no rush for me. I’ve got two years left on my contract, I’m happy with where I’m at – I’m enjoying my career here so far at the Roosters.

“We’ll see what happens, there’s no rush.”

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