Leeds Rhinos: Blake Austin in come-and-get-me plea amid doubts over future

Josh McAllister
Blake Austin in action against Warrington Wolves.

Blake Austin in action against Warrington Wolves. Photo by Steve Flynn/News Images.

Out-of-contract Blake Austin called out Leeds chief executive Gary Hetherington amid doubts over his Rhinos future beyond the current campaign.

The former Warrington playmaker is in the final year of his contract at Headingley Stadium, with his future currently up in the air at the club.

Head coach Rohan Smith previously stated that he hadn’t given up hope on retaining the 32-year-old Australian, who reportedly recently entered the open market according to Leeds Live for the 2024 campaign.

However, speaking with Sky Sports following his side’s 22-6 win over Warrington at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, Austin made his stance clear with the goal of earning a new deal at his current club for 2024 and beyond.

Austin has hit his best form in recent weeks for the Rhinos, playing huge parts in their wins over Huddersfield and Warrington in Super League to lift the side to just two points below the play-offs.

Blake Austin makes Leeds Rhinos future intentions clear

He said post-match: “I’m not sure if Gary’s [Hetherington] been watching, he hasn’t called me yet or wanted to discuss a contract. Hopefully I can keep pushing forward my case and we’ll get something sorted.”

Asked if Leeds is his club of choice, Austin responded: “Yeah, but I don’t know if Leeds’ preference is for me to stay.

“I’d love to hear from them and all I can do is keep playing well.”

Team-mate and regular Leeds starter Jarrod O’Connor also shared his thoughts on Austin’s future, insisting that the team want the ex-NRL playmaker to remain a Rhino beyond 2023.

“I’d love him to stay at Leeds,” O’Connor added on Sky Sports.

“The things he does for us is outstanding. The way he takes on the line and just the atmosphere he brings to the squad, we’d all love him to stay.

“But we’ll have to see what happens.”

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