close
close

Phil Gould’s ‘unfair’ call on Dylan Edwards for Blues amid James Tedesco’s Origin battle

Phil Gould’s ‘unfair’ call on Dylan Edwards for Blues amid James Tedesco’s Origin battle

NRL Supremo Phil Gould has told Dylan Edwards to play fullback in State of Origin or completely miss his battle with James Tedesco for the number 1 jersey continues to divide New South Wales fans. Arguably the biggest decision in Michael Maguire’s first-team selection for the Blues ahead of Origin’s opener is the selection at full-back.

Kangaroos and Blues starter Tedesco came under scrutiny late last year with his performances declining for the Roosters, state and country. While many called for new manager Maguire to select a new fullback to begin a new era for the Blues, Tedesco did not go down without a fight.

Dylan Edwards and Nathan Cleary celebrate and James Tedesco reacts.Dylan Edwards and Nathan Cleary celebrate and James Tedesco reacts.

Phil Gould has told Dylan Edwards (pictured left) to play fullback in State of Origin or miss out entirely as he battles with James Tedesco (pictured right) for the role. (Getty Images)

The Roosters fullback has been superb in 2024 and his last game against the Broncos was arguably his best as he Maroons superstar Reece Walsh overshadowed. However, fans have turned to Penrith fullback Edwards as the nominated candidate to replace Tedesco.

The Yahoo Sports Australia poll suggests 45 per cent of NRL fans think Edwards should wear the No.1 jersey after winning three consecutive premierships with Penrith. Its combination with Nathan Cleary would also be a huge bonus.

Although Edwards could be overlooked again this year if Maguire chooses to allow Tedesco to captain the team again. Some have suggested Edwards could play as a utility man or on the wing, which he did for the Kangaroos last year.

And former Blues coach Gould has given his opinion. Although Gould supports Edwards as a potential full-back option, having claimed he was made for Origin, he doesn’t think Edwards should play anywhere other than his preferred position.

“He could do the job… but I think it would be completely unfair to Dylan Edwards for his first Origin venture,” Gould said on the Channel Nine podcast. Six tackles with Gus. “If they decide he should be on the Origin side, then he should be at fullback.

“He could definitely play on the wing, he would be a great No.14, he can play anywhere. I’m not saying he couldn’t do it, but I’m saying it would be unfair to do so. If he’s going to be judged, judged as a fullback he’s absolutely perfect for Origin, but if they have to pick him, pick him as a fullback so you can see the best of him.

Dylan Edwards reacts.Dylan Edwards reacts.

Dylan Edwards (middle photo) appears to be in a battle with James Tedesco for the Blues’ No.1 jersey. (Quinn Rooney via Getty Images)

Tedesco will get another chance to show his mettle and retain the Blues jersey this week when the Roosters take on the Warriors. Another strong performance from Tedesco could make it difficult for Maguire to drop the Blues and Kangaroos captain.

Edwards has Cleary back to guide the Panthers team this week as they take on the Bulldogs on Friday night. Ryan Papenhuyzen’s latest injury seems to suggest that the fullback position is a battle between Edwards and Tedesco.

Phil Gould reacts.Phil Gould reacts.

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs commentator and general manager Phil Gould (pictured) has weighed in on the Blues full-back position. (Mark Kolbe via Getty Images)

Speaking about the Blues squad, Gould believes fans will be “shocked” when it comes to some of the selections. Gould said Maguire and his team had a fresh look at the team and had been in contact with a large number of players.

RELATED:

One of the other big talking points for the Blues is who will play the No.6 alongside Cleary. Nicho Hynes is favorite after an excellent start to the season with the Sharks. However, Matt Burton puts his hand up with the Bulldogs five-eighth, proving they are enjoying their best season yet. Jarome He and Cody Walker have both played in the No.6 jersey for the past two years, but appear lower down the order in 2024. Although Maguire has given no indication of who he wants to play with Cleary on next month.