Former Wallabies wing Wendell Sailor has implored Rugby Australia to make a play to bring NRL star Angus Crichton back to the XV-man code.
It’s been six years since Crichton, a 24-year-old second rower from the Roosters, played rugby union, with his last outing in the sport coming when he made the Australia Schools side for a second year running in 2014.
Upon completion of his schooling, however, the former Scots College pupil pledged his allegiance to rugby league via the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Having made a name for himself in the 13-man code, Crichton went on to sign with the Sydney Roosters in 2019, the same year of which he won his first NRL premiership.
That accolade adds to the five State of Origin appearances he has racked up with New South Wales, helping the side clinch back-to-back series wins over the past two years.
Named on the New South Wales interchange bench for Wednesday’s State of Origin opener against Queensland in Adelaide, Crichton is continuing to make his presence felt in rugby league.
However, the ongoing transfer saga surrounding the future of the prodigious teenage talent that is Joseph Suaalii could be enough to force him back to rugby union – or at least it should spark some interest from Rugby Australia, according to Sailor.
With the Roosters eager to snare Suaalii, the 17-year-old multi-code schoolboy star, from under the nose of the Rabbitohs, an adjustment to Sydney’s salary cap will be required in order to accomodate for the youngster.
Given Crichton’s three-year contract with the Roosters expires at the end of next season, he looms as a primary candidate to face the chopping block.
Sailor – a dual-code international for Australia, having played 21 times for the Kangaroos between 1994 and 2001, as well as appearing in 37 tests for the Wallabies between 2002 and 2005 – believes Rugby Australia should act on that to lure Crichton back to rugby union.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) November 1, 2020
“Every [NRL] club, [should be looking to sign Crichton],” Sailor told Triple M last week, as per Fox Sports.
“You know what I love about Angus Crichton. It’s not just what you see on the field, he does a lot of great stuff in the Indigenous community.
“He’s unbelievable and from a really nice family.
“The ARU [Rugby Australia] should be looking to get him back into rugby union.
“He’s a really good player and a lovely young man.”
Suaalii was also said to have been on Rugby Australia’s radar earlier this year, although reports of a three-year deal worth $3 million were rubbished by the governing body.
Regardless, the teenager knocked back interest from Australian rugby union officials in August to pursue a career in the NRL, although where his future lies is yet to be locked in.
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