Rhinos sign up Austin for 2022
Blake Austin goes over to score for England v France
Leeds Rhinos have confirmed the signing of Great Britain international Blake Austin from Betfred Super League rivals Warrington Wolves for the 2022 season on a one year contract.
Austin, 30, joined the Wolves in 2019 from Canberra Raiders, scoring on his debut against the Rhinos at the Halliwell Jones Stadium. In his debut season, he was runner up for the Steve Prescott Man of Steel and was selected by Wayne Bennett for the Great Britain tour that season, winning two caps.
In total he has made 62 appearances so far for the Wolves in his three seasons at Warrington.
He will join up with fellow new signing Aidan Sezer at Emerald Headingley, with the pair having played alongside each other at Canberra Raiders for three seasons between 2016 and 2018. Austin joined the Raiders in 2015 from Wests Tigers, where he played alongside Rhinos forward Bodene Thompson and started his career at Penrith Panthers, making his NRL debut a decade ago in 2011.
Austin becomes the Rhinos third new signing for 2022 following on from Leeds-born St Helens forward James Bentley and half back Sezer.
Commenting on the signing Leeds Rhinos Head Coach Richard Agar said, “We are delighted to be able to add a player of the quality of Blake Austin to our existing squad for next season. Consistently over the last two seasons, we have spoken about creating competition for every position in the side and, just as importantly, making sure that we have strength in depth. We saw earlier this season that we needed to improve our options at half back, which Blake will certainly do but he can also play a number of positions across the team.
“We see plenty of adaptability and versatility in Blake and of course he has a great deal of experience both in the NRL and Super League having played nearly 200 games. Throughout our discussions about our vision for his role within our squad, I have been impressed with his ambition and willingness to play his part for the team and I am looking forward to seeing him in our environment,” added Agar.
Commenting on signing for Leeds, Austin said, “While I have some disappointment at leaving Warrington, I’m extremely happy to be joining such a great club. Leeds are a club I set my sights on a few months back, and I’m stoked to be getting on board. I’m joining one of my best mates and a squad that look set for an exciting next 5 to 10 years. I opted for a one year deal to prove myself to the Leeds faithful but I also believe it’s something that will help get the best out me personally but I definitely want to settle in for a lot longer.”