The Sydney Morning Herald reports Sydney Rooster Angus Crichton has received an offer to join Western Force
Wallaby bosses have reportedly reacted to their imminent World Cup failure by tabling a $1.6million dollar deal for rugby league superstar Angus Crichton.
Australia were thumped 40-6 by Wales on Sunday which all-but confirmed they will fail to make it out of the pool stage for the very first time in their history. And the Sydney Morning Herald reports Sydney Roosters second-row Crichton has received a two-year offer to join the Western Force worth $800,000 annually.
Crichton is no stranger to rugby union having been a high-school star at Sydney private school Scots College and represented Australian schoolboys before carving out a successful career in the NRL. Crichton is travelling to France to watch friends play at the Rugby World Cup.
Rugby Australia has made no secret of their admiration for the 27-year-old, who won the Rugby League World Cup with the Kangaroos last year. Chairman Hamish McLennan namechecked Crichton along with South Sydney Rabbitohs captain Cameron Murray as cross-code targets but the later has re-signed until 2028.
Wallabies offer NRL star bumper deal again
Crichton’s Roosters team-mate Joseph Sua’ali’i has already agreed his own multi-million dollar move to union with the 20-year-old starlet set to be eligible for the Wallabies from the back end of 2024.
Crichton’s management team is said to be considering the offer which is for 2024 and 2025.
Throwing millions the way of another cross-code import is a controversial move from the national governing body Down Under with the World Cup failure prompting many to call for more investment into the grass-roots game and pathways programmes.
Australia face Portugal on Sunday in Saint-Étienne in their final Pool C fixture in France.
Rugby World verdict
Australia may have failed on the field but nobody can fault their penchant for ill-timed gaffes during this tournament, writes Josh Graham. First the Sydney Morning Herald broke the news that Eddie Jones had interviewed with Japan with a view to replace Jamie Joseph as coach despite having a four-year deal with the Wallabies.
Now, they are said to be throwing cash at a league superstar rather than looking closer to home to solve problems. Don’t get me wrong, this is no Sam Burgess situation, Crichton has a very good grounding in union and having covered last year’s Rugby League World Cup which he helped Australia win, undoubtedly he would be an asset to the 15-a-side code.
But is this the right message to be sending now? After Wales pulled the Wallabies’ pants down, perhaps a definitive statement of intent to support the grass-roots game and fix the talent pathway would have gone down better with the Australian public.