Angus Crichton is concerned what the David Fifita signing may mean for his future at the Roosters. Image by Steven Markham/AAP PHOTOS
  • rugby league

Crichton won’t play second fiddle to Fifita at Roosters

Scott Bailey May 13, 2024

Angus Crichton has declared he doesn’t want to spend 2025 stuck behind David Fifita, saying it is up to the Sydney Roosters to explain to him how he has a future at the club. 

Off contract at season’s end, Crichton labelled the Roosters’ decision to sign Fifita as “interesting” and admitted it left him wondering about the club’s thinking.

The 28-year-old also admitted he was unsure if both he and Fifita could fit into the same team, given both are attacking threats as left-side second-rowers.

 David Fifita (r) is to join the Roosters from the Titans next season. Image by Jason O’BRIEN/AAP PHOTOS 

Crichton has previously discussed the possibility of moving to Europe for rugby union at year’s end, while Penrith also made inquiries about him earlier this month.

Regardless, he made clear he is not willing to play second fiddle at the Roosters and wants to remain on the left edge.

“I don’t want to be sitting behind anyone,” he said.

“If there’s an opportunity that makes sense (elsewhere), then I’ll definitely look at it. 

“I’m not going to rush it, especially with the Fifita stuff that’s come out now. 

“That’s a good enough reason for me to take my time, and make smart decisions.” 

Sent to reserve grade to start the year, Crichton has shot into NSW State of Origin contention in the past month as the form second-rower of the competition.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson admitted on Saturday Fifita’s deal meant it could be harder to retain Crichton, but insisted the door was not shut on him yet.

Fifita has previously played on the right at the Titans, and was meant to start last year there before a season-ending injury to Beau Fermor.

But Crichton said he was yet to hear from the club what Fifita’s arrival meant for him.

“I probably won’t go looking for him (Robinson), but if he wants to talk to me he knows where to find me,” Crichton said.

“It does make you question where their head’s at.

“No one’s talked to me, which is funny.

“Last I heard they were keen (to re-sign me), but then obviously that (Fifita news) comes out. It’s an interesting one and something I’ll have to monitor.

“All I can do is play good footy and keep putting my hand up to be there on the left.

“No one’s talked to me, and I’m not sure if they will.”

The Roosters already have fellow backrowers Sitili Tupouniua, Victor Radley and Nat Butcher signed until 2027.

 Sitili Tupouniua usually plays as the Roosters’ right-side second-rower. Image by Mark Evans/AAP PHOTOS 

Penrith are an option Crichton would be interested in, if they follow up the previous inquiry.

The 2019 premiership winner would likely want to head there as a second-rower, believing playing exclusively on an edge is part of the reason behind his return to form this year.

“It was tough last year coming in, I was underdone (after personal issues), and I was sort of playing a bit in the middle which isn’t my spot,” Crichton said. 

“Even at the start of this year Robbo wanted to give those other boys first crack at the edges, which was his decision. 

“In the trial he played me at prop, I’m not a prop. 

“I’m an out-and-out backrower so forcing his hand and making him put me there and playing me 80 (minutes), I’ve been able to get that consistency.”