The Roosters superstar was voted as the best Blues player of the State of Origin series by his teammates and presented with the award in front of more than 550 guests at a ceremony at The Star.
He was also a landslide winner for The Daily Telegraph’s People’s Choice Award after scoring the series-winning try in the final 20 seconds of Game III, claiming the Wally Lewis Medal for overall player of the series and delivering NSW its first back-to-back series win since 2005.
Tedesco won the Brad Fittler Medal for the first time last year when he faced competition from Tom Trbojevic and Damien Cook, but he was in a league of his own this year against Queensland.
The fullback is widely considered to be one of the best Rugby League players in the world.
Jarryd Hayne won the Brad Fittler Medal in 2007, 2009 and 2014 but Tedesco is the first to win two years in a row.
Tedesco himself has joked that he has started stock-piling his fast-growing number of medals at his parents’ home and is glad “they’ve got a few spare rooms”.
Other players to have won the Brad Fittler Medal include Steve Menzies (2006), Danny Buderus (2008), Paul Gallen (2011), Robbie Farah (2012), Josh Dugan (2015) and David Klemmer (2017).
Tedesco, who is of Italian descent, was born in the northern Sydney suburb of Ryde but was raised on a hundred hectare property in Menangle in Sydney’s south west, complete with his own football field with goal posts.
His father has said of his early years: “James couldn’t even make the junior rep squad for Wests when he was 14, and from then on he’s always sort of scraped in, but once he’s made those teams, he’s gone on to finish as the best player.”
The Federazione Italiana Rugby League Australia (FIRLA) congratulated Tedesco on his win, calling him a “great ambassador of the game on and off the field”.
“Teddy’s always willing to help where he can in Italian Rugby League, and never forgets his roots,” the federation said.