Blake Austin: Fresh twist in contract saga as Leeds Rhinos star open to NRL return

Josh McAllister
Blake Austin in action against Warrington Wolves. Credit Image: Cody Froggatt/Alamy live news.

Blake Austin in action against Warrington Wolves. Credit Image: Cody Froggatt/Alamy live news.

Leeds Rhinos star Blake Austin says he would be open to an NRL return with his future still yet to be confirmed in Super League.

Austin, 32, has previously stated his desire of remaining at Headingley Stadium beyond the current campaign, with his current contract set to expire at the end of the season.

However, speaking on the JBK podcast, the Australian playmaker revealed that he would be open to an NRL return, eyeing up a specific position in which he think he could help improve clubs.

“I’m off contract at Leeds and whatever will be will be,” Austin said.

“I’ve never been afraid to do things a little bit differently, that’s why coming over [to England] at 27 wasn’t an issue for me.

“If an opportunity came up to go home, that’s something I’d certainly look at.

“I know my kids would push me into it and force me to look at something like that. But I’m really confident with where I’m at.

“I’m a pretty confident guy. I still believe I could go back and be the best 14 in the comp and really add to a team that have are doing really well.

“Personally, I really think I could do a really good job as a 14. I don’t think clubs will look at me much at a starting half, but I could certainly come back and add to a squad and do what I do best.”

Blake Austin still has desire to win Super League

Austin made the initial switch to England with Warrington Wolves ahead of the 2019 campaign from Canberra Raiders, having also featured for Penrith Panthers and Wests Tigers in the NRL.

And several NRL clubs are looking to bolster their squad for the 2024 campaign. The Tigers will lose Luke Brooks to Manly Sea Eagles at the end of the season, while Ben Hunt is looking for an exit at the St George Illawarra Dragons.

Tim Sheens is also expected to offload several big name players at Wests Tigers, including playmakers Brandon Wakeham and the current injured Adam Doueihi.

“They can give me a call if they want,” Austin said on Wests Tigers, who are also said to be interested in Salford’s Brodie Croft and Leeds half-back Aidan Sezer.

Austin however did reveal that he still has aspirations of winning a Super League title, having reached the Grand Final under Rohan Smith last year, falling to a 24-12 defeat to St Helens at Old Trafford.

“I’m really comfortable where I’m at. I’d love to win a title over here and I’d love to win a Challenge Cup,” he added.

READ NEXT: Blake Austin turns screw on Leeds Rhinos as future talks take new twist