Angus Crichton teammate's sad revelation amid mental health break
Roosters players are rallying behind the star forward after his sad mental health revelation.
Sydney Roosters teammates have thrown their support behind Angus Crichton, in the wake of the World Cup winner's sad announcement that he is taking time away from the game. NRL fans were left shocked when it emerged last week that Crichton had decided to take a break from the sport after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Crichton's diagnosis was first revealed by his father Charlie. In a statement, the 27-year-old's father revealed that the Roosters and Kangaroos back-rower had been grappling with his mental health for some time.
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"Angus is under appropriate professional support and treatment for medically diagnosed bipolar disorder which he has been dealing with for some time," Charlie Crichton said. "He is fully supported by his family, his management and the Sydney Roosters club as he works towards recovery.
"While no timeline has been set for his return to rugby league, we will continue to trust his medical team and know those within the rugby league community will respect his right to privacy."
Crichton's absence for the Roosters represents a double blow for coach Trent Robinson's side, who will also be without New Zealand international Joseph Manu (facial injury) for their round one clash with NRL newcomers, the Dolphins, on Sunday. Roosters forward Nat Butcher admits it's been tough to hear about Crichton's struggles, but insisted the 27-year-old had the full support of the club.
"It's been really sad to see (him go on break), I've got nothing but love and support for him at the moment," Butcher said. "I'm just wishing that he's at the right place getting the right treatment and then he'll be back soon."
There is no guarantee Crichton will return for the Roosters this season, with the club this week appealing to the NRL for financial dispensation to have some of his $750,000 salary written off. NRL CEO Andrew Abdo has already stated that injuries have not been enough for dispensation in the past, with the Roosters having unsuccessfully made a similar bid prior to the retirement of Boyd Cordner.
Roosters players throw support behind Angus Crichton
Tri Colours prop Lindsay Collins has praised Crichton for having the courage to step away from the game and seek the help that he needs. The Maroons enforcer suggested there was no timeframe on when his Roosters teammate will return to the field and that his health needs to take precedence.
"He's just stepped away and recognised that he needs to get help," said prop Lindsay Collins. "He's getting the help that he needs and when he's right, he'll be back."
The Roosters' request to be granted salary cap relief around Crichton has sparked plenty of debate in the rugby league world this week. The NRL CEO indicated there was an openness to accomodate the Roosters given the unique circumstances around the issue, but declared it was ultimately down to the salary cap auditor to make a final decision.
“It’s an injury like any other injury and, in the past, we haven’t given salary-cap relief,” Abdo said. “But, if there’s an appropriate approach to it, and it’s discharged in terms of a suitable specialist, it can be looked at.
“As far as season-ending or career-ending issues, each of those are looked at on their merits. If it’s material, in terms of length, there’s an opportunity to look at it. But it gets carefully assessed.
“The salary-cap auditor is empowered to look at certain situations within certain parameters. With appropriate, independent advice, it will be looked at.”
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