Leeds Rhinos half-back Blake Austin has joined Castleford Tigers on loan for the rest of the season, with his time at Headingley appearing to be all but over.
The 32-year-old is likely to have played his last game for the Rhinos as he makes the move across West Yorkshire to Castleford for the rest of the Super League season.
Austin is out of contract with Leeds at the end of the campaign and Leeds Live has linked him with a move to promotion-chasing Championship side Featherstone Rovers for 2024.
The Australian playmaker has made 41 appearances for the Rhinos since arriving at Headingley from Warrington Wolves ahead of the 2022 campaign.
Austin will now play for the rest of the season with the Tigers, with the goal of helping Andy Last’s side avoid relegation and secure their Super League status for 2024.
Last said: “We are really pleased to get Blake in at this point in the season.
“He is someone with a massive amount of experience in the NRL and in Super League who has proven himself as one of the top players in his position.
“His knowledge of the game and rugby brain will be a big bonus for us as we aim to finish the season strongly.”
Blake Austin to make Castleford Tigers debut in relegation crunch with Wakefield Trinity
Austin won’t be able to make his Castleford bow in Friday’s game against Huddersfield due to the deal running on late towards Friday’s transfer deadline on August 4.
Tigers director of rugby operations Danny Wilson confirmed that Austin would be ready to go in time for the club’s relegation crunch clash with Wakefield on August 18
Wilson said: “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.
“In terms of the deal, it was a really quick one because we heard late on that Blake could be available and we acted as quickly as we could.
“I’d like to thank Leeds and his agent for supporting us on this move. We know he will come in and give his all for Cas Tigers.
“It’s exciting news for the fans as well and I think they will all get behind him and the team to have a really positive end to the season.”