David Fifita in stunning Roosters development that could seal Angus Crichton's fate

Fifita has agreed to join the Sydney Roosters, opting to walk out on Gold Coast at the end of the year.

David Fifita has sent shockwaves throughout the NRL world by announcing he will join the Sydney Roosters in 2025. The second rower has opted to walk out on Gold Coast at year's end and also turned his back on three-time defending premiers Penrith.

Fifita informed Roosters officials on Thursday that he intends to take up a four-year deal reportedly worth around $3.3 million. The Tri Colours were strapped for cash and on the hunt for a marquee signing for next season, with the impending departures of Joey Manu and Joseph Aukuso-Suaalii at the end of the season.

While veterans Luke Keary and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves will also leave the club at the end of the year, with Warea-Hargreaves heading abroad and Keary hanging up his boots. But many were of the belief that Fifita would link up with the Panthers as they were offering more money per season than the Tri Colours and also have the allure of winning a potential premiership.

Pictured left David Fifita and right Angus Crichton
David Fifita's arrival at the Roosters could see Angus Crichton head out the door. Image: Getty

But one man who is thrilled that he snubbed the defending premiers for Bondi is Roosters lock Victor Radley, who says Fifita brings the club some serious X-factor. "You want quality players, and (Fifita) is a quality player," Radley told AAP on Thursday.

"He's got the footwork, he's a powerhouse. Fast. You don't have many players that do all those things. He's got the X-factor."

The Panthers were considered to be the front runners for the 24-year-old's services, before being informed on Thursday that they had missed out. The development leaves Penrith in desperate need of a marquee forward but they do have cash to splurge.

James Fisher-Harris is leaving the Panthers at the end of the year and Penrith were reportedly planning to shift Scott Sorenson into the front row next year to accommodate Fifita. However, the three-time defending champions were snubbed, meaning the club still has space in their salary cap to add to their forward pack that lacks quality and depth in 2025. And it has been suggested that the club has put off-contract Rooster Angus Crichton at the top of their wish-list.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 20: David Fifita of the Titans celebrates a try during the round seven NRL match between Gold Coast Titans and Manly Sea Eagles at Cbus Super Stadium, on April 20, 2024, in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
Fifita informed Roosters officials on Thursday that he intends to take up a four-year deal with the NRL club, reportedly worth around $3.3 million over four years.

The Panthers made an inquiry late last week with the 28-year-old's management to see what he had in mind beyond this season. Crichton has previously expressed a desire to make a code switch to rugby union and is exploring the option of linking with a French club.

While he could theoretically fit into the Roosters cap, they aren't short of second-row stocks. And many clubs have space in their salary caps, namely the Panthers, Titans and Tigers - who also were interested in Fifita.


So the Roosters stocks may soon again be raided, as the club has plenty of forward pack depth, with the likes of Sitili Tupouniua and Egan Butcher currently not even in the top 17. But Matty Johns says, that while the Roosters signing Fifita is a massive scalp, they cannot let another side poach Crichton.

"I think the Roosters would be crazy to let Crichton go. I wouldn’t let him go," Johns said on Thursday night with Matty Johns. "I’ve seen him as good but I’ve never seen him play better." Gorden Tallis added: "He’s been outstanding. Crichton against the Broncos was absolutely outstanding."

with AAP