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NRL star rules out return to rugby union

By AAP
(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

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Angus Crichton says he has no intention of leaving the Sydney Roosters despite a salary cap squeeze leaving a question mark over his future.

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The 26-year-old back-rower comes off contract later this year but has yet to confirm a deal with the club beyond this season.

Crichton, who is a strong chance to be named in Brad Fittler’s NSW Origin squad on Sunday, agreed to a two-year extension with the Roosters late last year.

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However, since the Roosters acquired Melbourne’s Brandon Smith, they have been unable to register Crichton’s contract because it would have meant they were non-compliant with the NRL’s salary cap.

Coach Trent Robinson has been adamant the club will keep hold of Crichton and has given the forward assurances his deal will be honoured.

That hasn’t stopped Crichton being linked with moves to the Wests Tigers and rugby union – the code he first played – something he says he has no desire to do.

“I want to stay and that’s what I’m trying to push towards,” he said after the Roosters beat Cronulla 36-16 on Saturday.

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“It is frustrating (being linked with other clubs) but you’ve got to try and do your best to block it out and focus on the task ahead.

“It’s hard to not buy into it and I’m doing the best that I can.

“Myself and my agent are trying to work towards staying and hopefully we’ll have something sorted soon.”

Crichton hasn’t been at his damaging best this year but there are mitigating circumstances for his start to the 2022 NRL season.

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He has been moved from the left edge to the right and then back to the left again.

The back-rower believes he is beginning to find greater fluency with teenage five-eighth Sam Walker and said he sees it as his duty to act as the lightweight playmaker’s bodyguard.

“That was our third game together and I feel like we were finding w hat works for us,” he said.

“I think it suits me over there (on the left). I have a good relationship with Sammy and he’s like a little brother to me.

“I try and look after him and help him through it (although) he looks after himself pretty well.

“He’s doing really well as a 19-year-old playing in that position, but the way he has stood up you can see his attack and defence is getting better.”

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