James Tedesco and Mitchell Moses as Wests Tigers players.
James Tedesco and Mitchell Moses as Wests Tigers players.

Tedesco: What really happened with Des, Moses and the Dogs

DES Hasler's decision not to pursue the signing of Mitchell Moses last year may not have cost the Bulldogs star fullback James Tedesco after all.

Former Wests Tigers teammates Tedesco and Moses are close friends who still live together despite now playing for rival teams and when they were on the market last year both were linked with moves to Canterbury alongside front-rower Aaron Woods.

Neither ended up at Belmore and last month Ray Dib blamed then-coach Hasler for the recruitment cock-up, telling Fairfax Media Tedesco's signing was all but over the line until the two-time premiership mentor decided Moses wasn't the right half to take the Bulldogs forward.

According to Dib that spooked Tedesco and ultimately gift wrapped him for the Roosters, but the NSW fullback recalls differently.

James Tedesco is happy to have signed with the Roosters.
James Tedesco is happy to have signed with the Roosters.

"That wasn't the be-all and end-all," Tedesco told media on Monday.

"I was talking to [the Bulldogs] and the Roosters, but I wasn't going to sign on that day.

"When you're off contract you meet with other clubs - and out of all three the Roosters were the best for me and that's why I chose them.

"I chose the Roosters because speaking to Mini (Anthony Minichiello) and Robbo (Trent Robinson) as well. Those guys spoke in detail about how good this club is.

"In the end I knew this would be the best club for me and that's why I chose it."

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When Tedesco signed with the Roosters he looked set to join a spine led by NSW teammate Mitchell Pearce.

By the end of the year that expectation had gone out the window, with Pearce leaving the Tricolours after Cooper Cronk was signed to wear the No.7 jersey.

While that may have come as a shock initially, Tedesco has now set his sights on emulating the incredible combination Cronk struck with Storm fullback Billy Slater over a successful decade.

"The combinations he's had with Billy over the years has been one of the best, and being able to create our own combinations is exciting," Tedesco said.

"He's awesome, he's got those game smarts and experience is second to none.

"I've learned a lot off him in the pre-season in attack and in defence as well. He's a very smart guy.

"I can't wait to keep working with him but we had a solid start on the weekend and it's going to keep growing over the season."