Angus Crichton says he has no intention of leaving the Sydney Roosters despite a salary cap squeeze leaving a question mark over his future.
The 26-year-old back rower ended his contract later this year but is yet to confirm a deal with the club beyond this season.
Crichton, who was expected to narrowly miss out on Game 1 selection at NSW State of Origin, agreed to a two-year extension with the Roosters late last year.
However, since the Roosters acquired Brandon Smith from Melbourne, they were unable to register Crichton’s contract as it would have meant they failed to comply with the NRL salary cap.
Coach Trent Robinson has been adamant the club will keep Crichton and assured the striker that his contract would be honoured.
That hasn’t stopped Crichton from being linked with moves to the Wests Tigers and rugby union – the code he first played – something he says he doesn’t want to do.
“I want to stay and that’s what I’m trying to do,” he said after the Roosters beat Cronulla 36-16 on Saturday.
“It’s frustrating (to be linked with other clubs) but you have to try and do your best to block it out and focus on the task at hand.
“It’s hard not to buy into it and I’m doing the best I can.
“My agent and I are trying to work to stay and hopefully we will have something to settle soon.”
Crichton hasn’t been at his best this year, but there are extenuating circumstances for his start to the 2022 NRL season.
It was moved from the left edge to the right, then back to the left again.
The back rower believes he is starting to find a greater ease with teenage five-eighth Sam Walker and said he considers it his duty to act as a bodyguard on the point guard’s field light play.
“It was our third game together and I feel like we were finding what worked for us,” he said.
“I think I’m fine there (on the left). I have a good relationship with Sammy and he’s like a little brother to me.
“I’m trying to take care of him and help him through this (even though) he takes care of himself pretty well.
“He’s doing very well as a 19-year-old in this position, but the way he’s gotten up you can see his attack and defense are improving.”
Australian Associated Press