James Tedesco's admission about Brad Fittler amid ugly furore at Roosters

The Sydney Roosters captain has defended NSW coach Brad Fittler, along with a recent holiday with his wife.

James Tedesco and wife Maria, alongside Brad Fittler.
James Tedesco has backed Brad Fittler and defended his recent holiday with his wife. Image: Getty

James Tedesco has gone in to bat for under-fire NSW coach Brad Fittler, while also hitting back at critics who criticised his recent trip to Byron Bay with his wife. Fittler is under immense pressure to retain his job as the Blues' State of Origin coach after a second-consecutive series loss to Queensland.

Fittler has now won three of the six series he has coached in the Origin arena, with many calling for the NSWRL to bring in someone new. But Blues captain Tedesco has come out in defence of his coach, declaring him the best man for the job after NSW's win in the dead rubber Game III.

'DISGRACEFUL': Gorden Tallis under fire over Melbourne Storm bombshell

'SAD TO HEAR': NRL world reacts to awful news about Wally Lewis

"It showed how good we can be when we stick to our plan and play how we want," he said, adding he was "supportive for sure" of Fittler. "I've played my best Origin footy under him. He's brought some pride back into the jersey. He brought that back. It was in a dark place."

Tedesco's place in the NSW team is no certainty either, with Dylan Edwards banging down the door for selection. Many have also called for Queensland fullback Reece Walsh to replace Tedesco as the Australian Kangaroos No.1.

Tedesco is facing some stiff competition from the breakout Brisbane Broncos star, but he won't be handing over his Test jersey anytime soon. "Yeah, 100 per cent," he said of his intention to play end-of-season Tests. "I haven't thought too much about it yet, it's been a massive year but that's always the goal and a huge honour."

James Tedesco hits back over Byron Bay trip backlash

Meanwhile, Tedesco launched a fierce defence of his own actions in recent weeks after he was criticised for skipping a game for the Roosters to go on holidays with his wife. Roosters coach Trent Robinson gave Tedesco a week off following a gruelling State of Origin campaign which came off the back of last year's World Cup.

The club captain decided to jet away to Byron Bay with his wife Maria, which some commentators felt was a bad look considering his teammates were battling it out against the Storm at the same time. Veteran journalist Phil Rothfield said he thought Tedesco should have at least attended the game and watched from the stands.

“When you’re not going too well and the team’s not going well, then people kick you while you’re down,” Tedesco said. “It was a team decision by Robbo and there were no problems with it until someone wrote about it and it became a media storm.

James Tedesco and Brad Fittler.
James Tedesco has come out in defence of under-fire NSW coach Brad Fittler. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

“It didn’t affect me too much. I just wanted to go out and play some good footy, and I felt like I did that. I always want to play. It was never a case of me wanting a break or that sort of stuff.

"Last year after Origin we were sort of fighting for the eight as well and I kept playing, and I was happy to do that again. I would never say ‘I need a break and I don’t want to play’. I want to play and do my best for the club, but Robbo planned it weeks before. I’ve got all the trust in Robbo and he told me to get away and not think about footy for a bit, so that was what it was."

The Roosters are languishing in 14th place on the ladder with eight wins and 11 losses heading into round 23. They face the Sea Eagles, Dolphins, Eels, Tigers and Rabbitohs in the five rounds remaining until the finals.

with AAP

Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.