Rugby Australia have withdrawn their $1.6 million offer for Roosters star Angus Crichton after internal backlash.
RA tabled the two-year deal worth $800,000 per season less than two weeks ago but it’s now off the table, as first reported by The Roar’s Christy Doran.
Australia are in the midst of a disastrous World Cup campaign where they will almost certainly fail to make the knockout stages for the first time in history.
Watch every match of The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Live on Kayo Sports. Starts THU 6 OCT 7:30PM AEDT. Join Kayo now and start streaming instantly >
The Wallabies have made at least the quarterfinals in every World Cup since its inception in 1987, but following disastrous losses to Fiji and Wales the national team is in crisis.
Tensions were already high amid Australia’s shocking 2023, and the reports of the big-money offer for Crichton went down like a lead balloon with the game’s stakeholders.
Australian players were already disgruntled over RA’s decision to hand 20-year-old Roosters winger Joseph Suaalii a three-year deal worth $5 million.
After three months of negotiations between RA and Crichton – where multiple deadlines were missed – the parties have ended talks, according to Doran.
Crichton’s manager David Rawlings confirmed as much to The Sydney Morning Herald.
“It’s not much of a surprise to us that negotiations have fallen over given the manner in which they’ve been handled since we began discussions,” Rawlings told the SMH.
“On at least three different occasions, I’ve questioned whether their intent to sign Angus was genuine because we had concerns around the disconnect between the communication we were receiving from the chairman, chief executive and head of contracting. They were all on different pages.
“We had contracting deadlines missed on multiple occasions, which is just bad business. This wasn’t a money grab. He was keen to go. He thought he could help. I feel for the Western Force. They would have got themselves a potential world-class No.12. The pathway that they laid out for Angus was very appealing.
“It seems to me the balance between the privacy of the negotiation and the public announcement was blurred.
“Within 12 hours of us receiving an offer, I was getting calls from journalists who were aware that the deal had been tabled. That didn’t come from us, I can assure you. Some of the reporters who broke the story were over in France, where RA officials are for the World Cup.”
Crichton has another 12 months to run on his Roosters deal which is reportedly worth around $675,000 next year.
But the backrower’s form has dipped in 2023 and been well below the level that earned him Kangaroos selection this time last year.
Crichton won the Rugby League World Cup with Australia last November but missed the first two months of the 2023 NRL season after he was hospitalised for mental health reasons.
The Roosters had given Crichton – who is currently in France watching the Rugby World Cup – permission to negotiate with RA.
Originally published as Angus Crichton’s camp blows up after Rugby Australia withdraws $1.6m offer