WARRINGTON Wolves have moved quickly to replace marquee signing Tyrone Roberts with the capture of NRL stand-off Blake Austin on a three-year deal as of 2019.
The Wolves have beat off stiff competition for Austin, 27, currently plays for Canberra Raiders having signed for them ahead of the 2015 season; named Dally M Five-Eighth of the Year in his first season. He has made 80 appearances for the club.
Prior to moving to the Raiders, Austin represented Penrith Panthers, his debut club, between 2011 and 2013, before one season at Wests Tigers in 2014. His current NRL appearances total is 114 with 42 tries.
His career to date has also seen him represent NSW City in 2015.
A renowned flair player with scintillating footwork, the club has fought off stiff NRL and Super League competition to capture Austin as a marquee signing, replacing Tyrone Roberts, who announced he would be departing the Wolves at the end of the current season, after failing to settle.
Austin is a recognised ball runner and an energy player who can bring a spark to a side.
Head coach Steve Price said: “I’ve watched Blake closely for a number of years over in the NRL and he’s a guy who, when you come to review the opposition, your game plan heavily revolves around which says a lot about the type of player he is. He has an outstanding running game and is always a threat with the ball in his hand. He’s a big body so hard to handle with electric footwork. I feel he is going to be a quality signing for our club and I’m excited to be able to work with Blake next year.
“He had a really good break-out year in 2015 when he was five eighth of the year and in 2016 he led the majority of attacking stats in the NRL. When I was fortunate to be assistant coach alongside Shane Flanagan at Cronulla Sharks for the semi final down at Canberra, we heavily revolved our game plan around Blake as he’s certainly an excitement machine.
“This is a massive coup for our club as a number of clubs were in for him in both the UK and Australia which says a lot about the quality of player he is; to have that much interest. We are always on the lookout for quality personnel and so this is a great coup for our club to get Blake over the line.”
Austin added: “I’m really excited to be joining the Warrington Wolves. No-one I’ve spoken to has had a bad word to say about the club. I’m stoked I get the chance to come over in what I believe can be the best years of my footy career, and not a cameo at the tail end of my career. My partner and I have always wanted to experience England and the Super League, and can’t wait to embrace the Wolves and everything Warrington has to offer.
“I look forward to working with Pricey and all the boys, with the goal of delivering silverware to the club.”
Club chief executive Karl Fitzpatrick said: “We want more superstars in Super League, this marquee signing brings us one. Blake’s a proven match winner and an exceptional talent. Just at the weekend he single-handedly won the game for Canberra. To sign a player of Blake’s quality, in the prime of his career, who was in such demand in the NRL is a boost for the whole of the Super League competition. The deal happened relatively quickly, this shows his willingness to come to the UK and his desire to be part of this great club.”