Former rugby union schoolboy star Angus Crichton was always destined for big things in whichever code he chose, but the back-rower’s rise in his first full season of NRL football has him earmarked for higher honours – sooner rather than later.
Temora-born Crichton was blooded by South Sydney in 2016, making eight first grade appearances (seven off the bench).
But after missing the Rabbitohs’ opening-round assignment this year, the strapping 21-year-old has been a permanent fixture in the first-choice squad and has started every match since Round 6.
A genuine workhorse averaging 117 metres and 31 tackles per game, the most eye-catching aspect of Crichton’s kitbag is his devastating ball-running, making 95 tackle breaks (sixth in the NRL and first amongst forwards) and nine line-breaks (equal-22nd and equal-fourth respectively) in 2017
The 102kg weapon scored seven tries in a blistering seven-game stretch mid-season, including a hat-trick in a breakout performance against Gold Coast that also included a career-high 200 running metres and four line-breaks.
A rare bright spot in a tough year for Souths, Crichton has played 80 minutes in eight of his side’s last nine games, and incredibly made just one error during that stretch from 126 carries.
While the embattled NSW Origin side seems well-stocked for quality back-rowers, Crichton’s game-breaking ability could be custom-made for the Blues’ 2018 assault.