Tedesco wins Brad Fittler Medal as NSW's Origin best
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Tedesco wins Brad Fittler Medal as NSW's Origin best

He wasn't even named at fullback in the Kangaroos' State of Origin merit team but James Tedesco has been given the nod as NSW's best, winning the Brad Fittler Medal on Monday night.

The Sydney Roosters fullback, who is just 80 minutes away from the NRL decider in his first finals series, tipped out Damien Cook and Tom Trbojevic for the honour at a gala ceremony at The Star.

NSW's best: James Tedesco.

NSW's best: James Tedesco.

Photo: AAP

Tedesco was controversially overlooked for the Wally Lewis Medal as the Origin player of the series, won by Queensland's Billy Slater, who was also named at fullback in the combined merit team decided by Australian selectors.

Slater only played two games in the series and was on the losing side as Fittler's baby faced Blues finally turned the Origin tide.

Tedesco was one of NSW's outstanding contributors in all three games, sparking NSW to a game-one win at the MCG alongside Cook. And it was enough for him to win the top honour as Trbojevic and Cook scooped the other awards.

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Tedesco is considered a near certainty to be named as Slater's successor as the Kangaroos' fullback provided he can come through the rest of the finals series unscathed, beating off a challenge from Queensland and Cronulla ace Valentine Holmes.

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His Origin series was set up by a blistering game-one performance in which he was awarded man of the match honours as the Blues sealed the series back in Sydney, just their second success in 13 years.

Manly speedster Trbojevic, who waged a battle with Tedesco to be named as the NSW No.1 prior to the series, won the True Blue award for the player who displays qualities upon which the team culture is built. His brother Jake won the award in 2017.

Cook, whose Rabbitohs can advance to a preliminary final against Tedesco's Roosters if they can topple the Dragons on Saturday night, won the people's choice honour decided by an online poll. Cook is a leading contender to win the Dally M Medal as the NRL's player of the season.

It was a big night for Roosters representatives as Simaima Taufa (Mounties) and Isabelle Kelly were named the NSW Women's Premiership player of the year and leading Origin representative respectively.