Angus Crichton to take indefinite break after bipolar diagnosis

Angus Crichton has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and will be given as much time as he needs to deal with the condition before returning to rugby league.

Crichton’s father, Charlie, provided a statement on the health of the star Roosters forward, confirming he was receiving professional treatment.

“I can confirm today that Angus is under appropriate professional support and treatment for medically diagnosed bipolar disorder, which he has been dealing with for some time,” Charlie Crichton said on Thursday night.

“He is fully supported by his family, his management and the Sydney Roosters club as he works towards recovery.

“While no timeline has been set for his return to rugby league, we will continue to trust his medical team and know those within the rugby league community will respect his right to privacy during this time.”

Crichton, a regular in NSW and Australian teams, had been sent to see a number of specialists before the diagnosis was made. The Roosters have given him a leave of absence during the process and will provide all the time and support he needs.

Angus Crichton will be given all the time and space he needs before returning to the NRL.Credit:Getty

A popular member of the tricolours squad – he was the club’s nominee for the Ken Stephen Medal for his work with Indigenous communities – his teammates have closed ranks around him.

“We’ve just been supporting him, he’s going through some things at the moment. We can’t really go into detail, but we’re supporting him and hopefully, he can be back at training,” captain James Tedesco said during the week.

“He’s an important part of our team. He was one of the best back-rowers in the game last year. We miss him, and we want him out there playing with us.”

Crichton was one of the Kangaroos’ most consistent forwards during their successful Rugby League World Cup campaign in England. The 27-year-old was already scheduled to miss at least one trial after copping a one-game suspension stemming from a striking charge in the final against Samoa, but his sabbatical will now be significantly longer.

Such is Crichton’s standing in the game that when new Wallabies coach Eddie Jones indicated he was seeking to poach top NRL talent, it was speculated that Crichton – despite being signed until the end of 2024 – would be a target. His focus, however, will be his health and then contributing again to the Roosters when he is able.

Bookmakers have installed the Roosters as one of the top contenders to dethrone the Panthers this year, but their pre-season has been a disrupted one.

Crichton has been unavailable, Joseph Manu remains in doubt for the historic opening clash with the Dolphins due to another facial injury, Luke Keary and Joseph Manu have had to contend with head knocks, Sam Walker recently had Covid and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves has had a back issue. Billy Smith and Sitili Tupouniua are still recovering from ACLs, while Connor Watson is also sidelined long term with a patella tendon rupture.

All available players were required to attend the Roosters’ season launch on Thursday night. Trent Robinson’s men have been chosen to be the Dolphins’ first opponent due to the contribution the late, great Arthur Beetson made to both clubs.

Having signed Newcastle flyer Dom Young from 2024, the Roosters are hoping to strike a deal that could result in him arriving at Bondi Junction immediately. There is also good news on the retention front, with lock Victor Radley recommitting to the Roosters on a new deal.

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