Rugby union target Angus Crichton is yet to receive a formal offer to switch codes, with the Roosters looking to extend him in the face of competition from multiple NRL clubs.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Crichton is a target for Rugby Australia and is it thought that the Roosters would not stand in his way if he wanted to move to rugby union, but no formal offer has been made by CEO Hamish McLennan.
Furthermore, it is reported that signing Crichton is McLennan’s own pet project, with the Waratahs, whom he would represent in Super Rugby, not involved in the process.
Crichton has a year remaining on his current deal and is free to speak to other NRL clubs as of November 1, though if he did choose to join rugby union, it is likely the Roosters would not stand in his way and he would join immediately.
The player himself has insisted that no decision will be made as long as the Roosters are still in the finals. They play an elimination game with Melbourne on Friday.
The backrower took significant time out of the game for mental health reasons earlier this year and his club are happy to let him lead the way on decision making, though they would baulk at him joining another NRL club, especially a year early.
Gamble’s bite message to Wighton
Tyson Gamble has insisted that he has no hard feelings towards Raiders star Jack Wighton after an alleged bite during Sunday afternoon’s epic finals match.
Wighton was put on report for the incident and subsequentially referred straight to the judiciary when the charges dropped on Monday morning. No on-field action was taken at the time.
Speaking after the game, Gamble was happy to move on from it.
“I want to leave that on the field,” he said. “That’s footy. I don’t want to really comment now.
“It’s done and dusted, we shook hands and he (Wighton) said all the best for the rest of the finals series. I don’t really have a comment on it. We’ll put it to the side and move on.”
The judiciary might not be as kind. There is little precedent for bites, but Jorge Taufua was recently given six games for an incident in the UK and Broncos NRLW star Ash Werner was given two matches, with the mitigation of the shorter season in the women’s game.
Former Gold Coast forward Kevin Proctor was the most recent player to be suspended for biting. He was given a four-game ban in 2020 over an incident involving then-Cronulla player Shaun Johnson.
If found guilty, Wighton could miss the start of next season for Souths and because he has retired from representative football, he cannot use Australia’s end-of-season Tests as part of the ban like Roosters prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves is attempting to do with the Kiwis.
While the suspension would solely affect the Rabbitohs, Canberra will cover Wighton’s representation for the hearing given he is employed by them until the end of October.
The Raiders have also requested the hearing be pushed back to Wednesday to give Wighton appropriate time to prepare, with their players off today for season-ending drinks.
Burgess opens up on Souths exit
Sam Burgess has broken his silence on his departure from South Sydney, telling The Matty Johns Show that his relationship with Souths stars Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker was still strong despite rumours of a fallout.
“Just on the record, there was a lot of media speculation about Latrell and Cody and me having a go,” he said.
“It’s not the case. I love Latrell, I love Cody. They are great blokes and great people.
“There are things we have disagreements about, of course there are. I think a lot more was made in the press about me, Latrell and Cody but it’s not the case. I love those guys, they’re great boys.
“Could I do things better? Yeah, of course we could. But that’s not my job. It’s for me to talk to the head coach and then for him to lead that ship.
“I don’t really want to go back into the details. I went in that morning (he left) to do the best thing for the club.
“I thought that being there, and the distraction around…I made what I thought was the best decision for the team at the time, to get away from there with a few things that had gone on behind closed doors.
“It’s best to leave it there and everyone move on from themselves. As an assistant coach, you can only give your opinion.”
Burgess described his relationship with coach Jason Demetriou as ‘professional’.
“We left on mutual terms,” he said. “I wish him all the best. I love the club, I love South Sydney, it’s part of my DNA. I always want to see them do well.
“I wish Jason and the team all the best for next year. You could call it a professional relationship.”