Now former Leeds Rhinos star Blake Austin has been linked with a number of moves in Super League as his next move remained shrouded in mystery.
Austin’s Leeds career came to a surprising end mid way through the 2023 campaign just before the transfer window deadline. Austin produced some exquisite performances this season especially against Huddersfield Giants and Warrington Wolves.
Around this time, Leeds were being linked with a move for Tyrone Roberts and there was talk of Austin being unable to agree a deal with the Headingley club. Thus, Austin used his platform after games to put the Rhinos under pressure.
Picking up the Man of the Match award on Sky Sports against both Huddersfield and Warrington, he would call on the club to give him the deal he wanted. This was furthered as he won the the Player of the Month appearing on Sky Sports and hitting out at the Rhinos’ management of the situation.
Appearing on podcasts furthered the situation especially as he criticised Gary Hetherington for forcing him and other to play against New Zealand last year.
Shortly after this, Austin was sent on loan to Castleford Tigers to try and guide the Tigers to Super League survival which he did. His final game though would be a bitter pill to swallow as he returned to Headingley and suffered a 46-0 defeat against his former club.
Many expected Austin to stay at the Tigers but they confirmed he would be leaving the club. This led to a return of the rumours linking him with a move to Featherstone Rovers. But when they missed out on promotion a lot of their transfers were undone.
Now, even though there are other clubs in the market with stand-offs such as Leigh Leopards and Salford Red Devils, Austin has returned to Australia confirming on Instagram with an emotional farewell.
He said: “Today we booked our container to fly our things back to Australia, shattered to be leaving a little sooner then we hoped, but getting the kids home to settle in to life back home is exciting, disappointed we fell a couple months short of getting our citizenship in this great country.
“Not sure what’s next, but that brings excitement, grateful for all the memories and friends we’ve met along the way, yous know who yous are. Austin’s out.”
Austin first arrived in England with Warrington Wolves in 2019 spending three seasons with the Wire before joining Leeds in 2022 where he would play in a Grand Final.
A Man of Steel nominee in 2019, he was one of the league’s best players when he first arrived at the club and leaves with an impressive Super League career.
It remains to be seen if Austin agrees a deal to join any NRL club. This year he stated that he would make a good number 14 in the NRL.