Captain, My Captain: James Tedesco

Words | Jonathan Lobban

"We've got our backs against the wall now… we've got nothing to lose." Ahead of State of Origin Game Two, James Tedesco, the respected New South Wales captain, chats to M.J. Bale's Platinum and Gold MJB members at our Martin Place store event. 

On losing Game One of State of Origin, and what to expect in Game Two …

"Yeah, it's obviously not ideal. You want to win that first game and put yourself in a good position, but sometimes it just doesn't happen. 

We've got our backs against the wall now. It's going to be a tough task going up to Brisbane and trying to win Game Two, but we've got nothing to lose. We've got to go out there and get the job done. 

Obviously, I wasn't at my best in Game One, which was disappointing, especially because in a big game, you want to always do your best. Particularly, as well, being captain and leading [the team] … you want to lead by example and lead the way. So, I want to turn that around. 

We'll have a few out for this game. Nathan's [Cleary] a big one. He'll be out for both games. There are going to be a couple of changes, but the self-belief is still there after Game One. We were so close and just didn't nail those big moments. I feel [a big performance] is not far away. It's going to be a good challenge for us, but it's a challenge we're looking forward to."

On leadership as captain of the Roosters, New South Wales and Australia.

"It's about leading by example. Sometimes it's tough because you feel like you have an added weight and responsibility on yourself as captain. I mean, growing up and coming through the ranks, I was sort of a quiet kid. I kept to myself and just worked hard, either when I was at training or away from it. But being a leader, you can't do that. You have to make sure the connectivity between all your teammates is strong. You need to get to know everyone on a personal level, making sure everyone wants to play for each other and build that team camaraderie. 

So, that's something I've learned as a leader and as a captain, to get all that as strong as possible to make sure everyone plays their best on the field for each other… if everyone is working for each other and wanting to win, you'll get the results."

On M.J. Bale.

"I feel like I've worn M.J. Bale for many years now, whether it's through different sporting teams or just different functions I've attended. I've come in and got suits for weddings and race days, and I've always loved the fit. I feel like my body's probably too different to wear just a 'normal' suit. The brand has always treated me well, and I've felt good and, I hope, looked good."

Onya, Teddy! Best of luck in Game Two