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Rohan Smith’s gives blunt response when asked about Blake Austin’s Leeds Rhinos future

Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos head coach Rohan Smith offered a blunt response on half-back Blake Austin’s future at Headingley, following his departure to West Yorkshire rivals Castleford Tigers. 

Blake Austin has been the talk of the town in recent weeks and with his deal expiring at the end of the season, he needed to show his value to the Rhinos and earn a spot in their plans for 2024.

He did exactly that, and was a vital part in an impressive month of June for the Rhinos which saw them win 3 games in a row, prior to a Golden Point defeat to Hull KR. Austin’s personal good form also earned him Super League Player of the Month.

However; his contract situation moved from the Leeds Rhinos offices to the public domain; and now Austin finds himself swapping Blue and Amber for Orange and Black as he moves across to Castleford Tigers.

Speaking to the media today Smith confirmed, in blunt fashion, that Austin would not be at the club for the 2024 season. Smith said: “I think that’s, yeah, safe to say.” when asked now Austin had left on loan, would he still be offered a new deal.

Earlier today, it was confirmed Austin requested to leave the club, citing a deal had been struck to take him to the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.

In a statement, the Rhinos said: “Leeds Rhinos have agreed to a request to release Blake Austin for the remainder of the 2023 season on loan to Castleford Tigers. Austin joined the Rhinos last season from Warrington Wolves and has made 41 appearances for the club, scoring four tries and a drop goal in his time at Headingley. He was due to be out of contract at the end of this season.”

Leeds Rhinos Chief Executive Gary Hetherington also commented on the move, saying: “The move has all happened very quickly because of tomorrow’s transfer deadline. Blake requested a release yesterday, which Rohan and I have agreed to, and we wish him well in his next venture.”

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