They’re both prodigious talents.
They’ve both played fullback for New South Wales.
And they were both born and raised right here in Macarthur,
Menangle’s James Tedesco and $1.2 million man Minto-raised Jarryd Hayne will go head to head on Saturday when the Wests Tigers face the Gold Coast Titans at Campbelltown Stadium.
Tedesco is excited to face Hayne in the now Gold Coast resident’s second game back in the NRL after stints with American football and Fijian rugby sevens.
He said the game would be a great spectacle for the Campbelltown crowd.
“I can’t wait to play at Campbelltown,” Tedesco said.
“I missed the last two games there through injury and now that we’ve won three in a row we’re hoping for a big crowd full of supporters.
“Especially with Jarryd Hayne coming back to where he’s from in his second game back.”
The 23-year-old said there was no Menangle-Minto rivalry between himself and Hayne and he was just as happy as anyone else to see the dynamic number one return to rugby league.
And though State of Origin might be done and dusted for this year, the incumbent fullback has no intention of letting the former Blue take back the position.
“They’re not picking the squad now, so I’ve got plenty of time to hold down my spot,” Tedesco said.
“I’m happy with the way I’m playing and controlling the football.”
Tedesco’s admirable talents were on show at the weekend against the reigning premiers.
The fullback evaded close to half of the North Queensland Cowboys team to cross for a solo effort on Sunday and was buoyed by his teammates’ tenacity to win the match.
“The Cowboys were at full strength with Johnathan Thurston coming back,” Tedesco said.
“The boys need to put in another big effort next week and knuckle down in training.
“That’s what Woodsy [captain Aaron Woods] said at the end of the game: enjoy this win, but don’t get to far ahead of ourselves, keep concentrating.
“We’ve had a couple of times this year where we’ve gotten a couple of wins together and got a bit too comfortable.
“We can’t do that again.”
Tedesco said the Wests Tigers will need a full house packing out Campbelltown Sports Stadium on Saturday afternoon to cheer the team on to victory and help them reach the top eight.
He is hoping the local crowd can match the 15,000-strong effort at Leichhardt Oval at the weekend.