Blake Austin reveals why he only signs one-year deals at Leeds Rhinos

Blake Austin has revealed the reason behind why he keeps only signing one-year contracts at Leeds Rhinos.

The 31-year-old arrived at Headingley from Warrington prior to the 2022 campaign, signing a one-year deal, before adding another year in June which keeps him at the Rhinos until the end of the upcoming 2023 season.

Speaking on why his contract with the club appears to be a rolling one every year, Austin revealed it’s something he opted for in order to keep himself motivated.

“I wanted to really back myself, I’m at an age where I want to make sure I’m really enjoying my rugby, he told the Trot The Egg In podcast.

“Like I don’t want to be that guy who sticks around till he’s 36 just for a pay-packet. I’m not saying I’m near the end but I’m closer to the end than what I was at the start.”

Austin also detailed his move to Leeds and explains that initially there was apprehension about whether he had make the correct decision.

On the turbulent start at Headingley, he said: “You go on and lose your first f***ing 10 matches, I’m sitting in the lounge room f***ing nearly crying thinking what’s going on?

“Everyone can see the squad we have here and in the end it was just sort of the harder we tried the worse we got. We were in a pretty dark hole for a little bit there for sure.”

At that point in the season a coaching change was made with Rohan Smith joining from down under and the season took a huge turn with the Rhinos finishing fifth, having languished in 11th prior to Smith’s arrival. 

Austin talked about being thankful for Richard Agar citing him as one of the reasons he joined the club, but when talking about Smith he goes as far to say it’s “the best bit of business Gary Hetherington (Chief Executive) has done in ages”. 

He continues: “It’s only early and I guess it’s a bit of a honeymoon stage but I reckon if I had a guy like Rohan earlier in my career then I’m a much more consistent player over a longer period.

“I just really like the way he coaches, I see the game very similar to what he does and when you step on the field knowing that it’s a pretty comfortable place.”

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