NRL 2023: Rugby Australia roasted for huge $1.6m offer Sydney Roosters star Angus Crichton contract

The Wallabies have tabled a monster offer to Sydney Roosters star Angus Crichton in a bid to lure him to rugby union.

Rugby Australia have reportedly made a two-year, $1.6 million offer to Crichton, who is out of contract with the Roosters at the end of next season.

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The 27-year-old would depart the Roosters immediately to join the Western Force in the Super Rugby competition in a return to the 15-man game.

Crichton played rugby union as a junior and has long been linked with a move back to the rival code.

It comes as the Wallabies hit a historic low in the Rugby World Cup campaign in France, suffering brutal losses to Fiji and Wales that sent them packing before the knockout stage for the first time.

Rugby Australia landed the signing of another Sydney Rooster, Joseph Suaalii, earlier this year on a three-year, multimillion deal to join the Waratahs at the end of 2024.

ARLC chairman Peter V’landys enjoyed taking a swipe at Rugby Australia this week after the prospect of the NRL buying out rugby union was raised by league great Laurie Daley.

“Well, the first rule in business is that you always buy an asset, not a liability,” V’landys told the Footy Talk podcast.

“So I guess that idea would be off the table straight away. Tell Laurie, you don’t buy liabilities, you buy assets.”

“Rugby league should buy rugby union,” Daley said on the Big Sports Breakfast earlier this week.

“I think they can coexist. They can have good competition, and skills are transferable. (The NRL should) own rugby union. I think in 20-25 years time, AFL is a massive threat.

“I just reckon if we were closer together, you’re not in competition and you can utilise those skills. They’re transferable to either code. You can stop the raid of talented players at junior level, going to AFL.”

The Wallabies’ disastrous World Cup campaign has sparked calls for more investment in grassroots of rugby union, with many criticising Rugby Australia’s move to poach talent from the NRL.

Former Wallaby Ben Alexander said: “Signing more leaguies is like putting a band-aid on a broken leg.”

There appears to be a lack of suitors for Crichton in the NRL, with News Corp’s Brent Read reporting inquiries to several clubs were rejected.

“Re: Angus Crichton and ARU swap, someone close to him contacted at least one NRL club this week asking whether they would be interested in signing him,” Read wrote on X.

“They were given a polite no. Either they were trying to create some competitive tension or Angus not necessarily keen on Perth.”

The Wallabies play their final game of the World Cup against Portugal early on Monday morning AEST.

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