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Blake Austin requested to leave Leeds Rhinos, club reveal

It has just been confirmed that Blake Austin has signed on a loan deal with Castleford Tigers until the end of the season from Leeds Rhinos, with the half-back set to be out of contract at Headingley at the end of the 2023 campaign.

Regardless he will now spend the rest of this campaign at the Jungle with Andy Last’s men as he bids to help them retain their Super League status, something that is seriously under threat.

The Tigers sit in eleventh but are level on points with bottom placed rivals Wakefield Trinity with the only separator at the moment being Cas’s minor 12 point advantage on points difference.

Given that the Tigers play before Wakefield this weekend, it could be the case that a loss of 13 points or more to Huddersfield will see Castleford enter the weekend rooted to the foot of Super League.

As such their need to bring in quality has been evident and Austin is certainly quality, albeit patchy in consistency at times, on his day he is one of the league’s best.

That is something that Castleford’s Director of Rugby Danny Wilson said when the club announced the signing.

“Blake is a very exciting player who is of a very high calibre, and we know what he can do when he’s at his best. We hope that he can come in and help us in our fight and be a point of difference.”

What this means for Austin in the long run is uncertain though with the Australian half having previously made it clear of his intent to stay at Leeds, the biggest example being when he used his man of the match interview live on Sky Sports to request Rhinos CEO Gary Hetherington to ‘get the cheque book out’.

Leeds have now also confirmed the news and within that they’ve noted that it was Austin himself who requested the move, something which would certainly suggest a change of heart.

What makes this more strange is that Austin would still have a strong chance at playoff football with Leeds running just two placed outside the playoffs, whereas at Castleford he could be in a team that gets relegated.

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