With a World Cup in France on the horizon, Rugby Australia are ready to turn to their greatest secret weapon – the National Rugby League.
Reports in recent weeks have suggested the Wallabies are set to throw the bank at Sydney Roosters superstar Angus Crichton to get him back to the XV-man game.
‘Bring him home’ they yelled – puffing from their smoking pipes atop their North Shore balconies.
According to Wallabies legend Tim Horan, it was now or never.
“If Rugby Australia and (coach) David Rennie haven’t had a chat to Angus already, they should,” Horan told The Sydney Morning Herald on June 25.
“He is killing it in rugby league and the next six months are important in terms of gauging his interest. If he comes back, he has to come back for the right reasons, which is to play for the Wallabies in a World Cup.”
Why else would he switch codes, Mr. Horan?
It is true that Crichton dabbled in the dark arts of rucks, mauls and penalty goals for a minute or two back in the day.
While attending Scots College, Crichton was selected for both NSW Schools First XV and the Australian Schoolboys. All well and good except for the fact that at the very same time, he was also playing junior representative rugby league.
As a boy growing up in the Riverina, Crichton cut his teeth with the Young Cherrypickers – one of the great country league clubs.
That’s right – Angus Crichton is and always will be a ‘leaguie’.
As rugby league as a Tommy Raudonikis squirrel grip or a Lang Park XXXX shower.
But if the Wallabies want to borrow our Angus for a few weeks – absolutely, go nuts!
The big Tricolours second-rower is off contract at the end of next season and, despite Horan’s claims, there would be plenty of time for Crichton to reacquaint himself with his second love.
But there could be more to this than meets the eye.
Crichton’s sojourn to France could be Peter ‘The Mad Scientist’ V’landys’ greatest move yet.
Could Angus in fact be an undercover agent sent by Lord PVL, himself?
Parachuted directly into Wallabies camp on a risky mission to take down Les Bleus and the frog-eating ancestors that destroyed the mighty game of rugby league back in the 1940’s alongside “Zee Germans”?
To be fair, however, PVL couldn’t even get his Kangaroos into England.
He’d have little idea how to get a Wallaby into Paris.
We digress, as Rugby Australia could do far worse than slide a good old country boy like Crichton into their squad.
By the time the the World Cup comes around in 2023, Rugby League World Cup 2021 may have been postponed again. There might be a few extra NRL stars ready to hop codes and help out the Wallabies in bringing back a trophy they haven’t won since 1999.
Throw in a madman like Canterbury’s Jack Hetherington.
He’s bat-**** crazy but any national side with ‘Cadbury’ slapped across the front of its jersey needs a little intimidation.
The world’s fastest man… Josh Addo-Carr?
Would he settle for dreaming of getting smashed by the All Blacks, instead?
But in the fair dinkum department, Angus Crichton would have already represented the Kangaroos at some point in the last few years if the NRL was serious about the international product.
COVID-19 is a fair and reasonable excuse until you see what the rest of the world is doing in the sporting arena.
You can’t knock Crichton for wanting to don an Australian jumper, in any code, at a World Cup.
Good on him.