WARRINGTON Wolves half-back Blake Austin will leave at the club at the end of the season to join Super League rivals Leeds.
Austin, 30, was out of contract and the recent high profile signing of George Williams looked like spelling the end of his time at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, with Gareth Widdop on a long-term deal.
He has scored 32 tries in 62 appearances for the Wolves since arriving ahead of the 2019 season, including one in the 27-26 win over Leeds at the weekend.
A Wolves statement said: “Blake remains fully committed to the Club for the remainder of the campaign and will leave with everyone’s best wishes this winter.”
Signed from Canberra Raiders, Austin impressed in his first year and was named in the Super League Dream as well as earning a surprise selection for the Great Britain.
Unfortunately, injury ruled him out of the Challenge Cup final win over St Helens.
Austin said: “Leeds are a club I set my sights on a few months back, and I’m stoked to be getting on board. I’m joining one of my best mates and a squad that look set for an exciting next five to 10 years.
“I opted for a one-year deal to prove myself to the Leeds faithful but I also believe it’s something that will help get the best out me personally but I definitely want to settle in for a lot longer.”
Austin’s departure follows the recent news that fellow Australian Jake Mamo will join Castleford at the end of his contract.
The futures of several other players are yet to be determined, with prop Chris Hill linked to Huddersfield and Sitaleki Akauola rumoured to be joining Salford.
Winger Tom Lineham is also expected to move on to pastures new.