Former Leeds Rhinos and Warrington Wolves halfback Blake Austin officially has a new club for 2024.
The halfback left Warrington for Headingley at the end of the 2021 season and helped the club to the Grand Final in 2022. Despite this, his Leeds career was very up and down as he often struggled with injury as well as the overall inconsistency that plagued the Rhinos.
However, a handful of Man of the Match performances that earned him the Player of the Month award had fans clamouring for his deal to be extended and he would continuously put pressure on the club to sign him when speaking to the likes of Sky Sports.
In the end, Leeds would allow him to join Castleford Tigers on loan till the end of the season where it was thought a permanent deal would be reached but it was not and he was not picked up by any Super League rivals resulting in a move back to Australia just months before receiving British citizenship.
He teased that he had joined for a lower league club and that has now been confirmed signing the Entrance Tigers, a team that competes in the Newcastle Rugby League Denton Engineering Cup competition – regarded as one of the best regional leagues in the state.
“We are super excited to have Blake at the club, he is a big, mobile five-eighth that will add a wealth of talent to an already impressive back line,” the club said in a statement via News Corp.
“Blake’s ability and knowledge of the game will go a long way in mentoring our younger halves to ensure we are strong in both the Denton Engineering Cup and Central Coast Competitions.”
Given the lack of quality halfbacks off-contract at the time, Austin emerged as a potential signing option for a number of clubs in the NRL and Super League especially due to his experience, skill and versatility earlier this year.
He was also considered to be linked with the Wests Tigers before they signed his former teammate Aidan Sezer, Jayden Sullivan from the Dragons and ex-Manly Sea Eagles young gun Latu Fainu.
“If I was going back I would want to go to a successful team and just focus on me but I’m open to all offers,” he told the JBK Show earlier this year, revealing he was open to all offers from clubs in a move that caused a further stir among Leeds fans and many feel pushed his exit closer.