James Tedesco insists there is no bad blood between he and Jai Arrow, adamant their State of Origin animosity won’t spill over on Friday night.
Arrow courted intense criticism after last year’s Origin decider when he roughed up, lifted up and slammed down an already concussed Tedesco.
The South Sydney recruit was fined by the NRL and apologised to Tedesco after the incident, claiming he was not aware he was already knocked out.
But Friday night marks the first time the two will meet on the field in the grudge match between the Sydney Roosters and Rabbitohs.
“We’re all friends, I’m not going to do anything,” Tedesco said.
“There’s no bad blood there, it’s all good. That’s footy, that happens.”
Tedesco did however tease that it could be a different story if close friend Victor Radley is cleared to play on return from a knee injury and suspension.
“I think Rads is spewing he’s not going to be able to go up against him. But there’s no bad blood there,” Tedesco said.
Told that coach Trent Robinson had said Radley could return, Tedesco said: “Maybe he is. It could be dangerous if he is.”
The potential of any objection to Arrow from the Roosters’ pack is one of several storylines in a rivalry that is as old as rugby league in Australia.
The Roosters have also vowed that this time will be different to the last time they met Souths, which resulted in a 60-8 blow on the eve of last year’s finals.
Robinson has said the match won’t be spoken about at the club, after starting this year red-hot with 86 points scored in their two wins.
“We got smashed (last year),” Tedesco said.
“It’s going to be a different game. I don’t know what happened that day but I can guarantee it won’t be something similar.”
Tedesco is also confident the Roosters’ knowledge of former teammate Latrell Mitchell should give them some advantage in stopping him, despite him playing at fullback and not centre.
“He is a big strong guy who has skills like one of the best in the comp. You have to contain him and have a straight line on him,” Tedesco said.
“But if you’re coming out to defend him as well you can’t go one-out because he’s got those silky skills.
“It’s just about him as a footy player, it doesn’t really change if he is fullback or centre.”