Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues captain James Tedesco has returned to the annual Players’ Dream Team compiled by the Rugby League Players Association (RLPA) and in doing so has passed two Origin stars.
Tedesco has been voted the best fullback in 2022 after Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues teammate Tom Trbojevic took the No.1 position last year.
It means the Sydney Roosters’ custodian has a record fourth Dream Team appearance following previous selections in 2017, 2019 and 2020 – one more than Blues halfback Nathan Cleary and Maroons great Cameron Smith.
The RLPA’s Dream Team is voted on by the players themselves, which makes the honour highly respected throughout the NRL.
Three other NSW Blues players feature in the team alongside extended squad member Joseph Suaalii, who coach Brad Fittler called into camp ahead of Origin I at Accor Stadium.
They include South Sydney Rabbitohs lock and captain Cameron Murray, Penrith Panthers hooker Api Koroisau, and Roosters winger Daniel Tupou.
Tupou is another making his return to the Dream Team after being named on the wing in the 2019, while this year marks the first appearance for Murray and Koroisau.
RLPA Chief Executive Clint Newton underlined the prestige of being one of the 13 players named in the Players’ Dream Team.
“All throughout 2022, we’ve watched in awe as NRL players continued to deliver great athleticism, skill, grit and physicality for their clubs and fans,” he said.
“This year, the players’ performances have been of the highest calibre and the quality of the games has been unbelievable,” Newton said.
“The Players’ Awards is all about rivalries meeting respect. The players will battle away on the field, but they all have a massive amount of genuine respect for each other.”