Angus Crichton's management has taken aim at Rugby Australia for the failed negotiations that took place to bring the Roosters forward over to the rival code. Last week, reports emerged of a $1.6 million offer for the NRL star to join rugby union franchise The Western Force following the Wallabies' disaster of a World Cup.
The Wallabies are set to exit the Rugby World Cup at the group stage for the first time in the nation's history. Eddie Jones is under immense pressure having been criticised for his selections throughout the World Cup.
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Although Jones has received the backing from Rugby Australia. But off the back of the worst ever World Cup campaign, reports emerged of a deal offered to bring NRL representative star Crichton back to the sport.
Crichton was a school boy rugby union star, but moved to the NRL to sign with the Rabbitohs. And in a move reminiscent of Rugby Australia's deal to sign Joseph Suaalii, The Daily Telegraph reported a two-year contract for $1.6 million was offered to Crichton.
While negotiations did take place over a number of months, they have fallen over with The Roar's Christy Doran first reporting the break down following the offer being withdrawn. And Crichton's manager David Rawlings took a swipe at Rugby Australia over the back-and-forth.
“On at least three different occasions, I’ve questioned whether their intent to sign Angus was genuine because we had concerns around the disconnect between the communication we were receiving from the chairman, chief executive and head of contracting. They were all on different pages," Rawlings told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“We had contracting deadlines missed on multiple occasions, which is just bad business. This wasn’t a money grab. He was keen to go. He thought he could help. I feel for the Western Force. They would have got themselves a potential world-class No.12. The pathway that they laid out for Angus was very appealing.
“It seems to me the balance between the privacy of the negotiation and the public announcement was blurred." Rawlings took aim at the deal becoming public knowledge, which he claimed 'didn't come from us".
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Crichton is contracted with the Roosters until the end of next year and is reportedly on $675,000 a year. The Roosters forward is an international player having won the Rugby League World Cup last year having started in the second-row.
Unfortunately, his form has dipped in 2023 and has struggled to earn a starting role for the Roosters. When the reports broke Rugby Australia were entering into negotiations with Crichton, the code copped backlash.
Many would consider the signing of a former schoolboy rugby union player, who has played State of Origin, a win for Rugby Australia. However, many were also critical of the code going after Crichton and other bigger names in the NRL. Many suggested the solution isn't to continually drop big money to bring players back to the code, but rather invest within the sport.
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