As the July deadline as past, next years new recruits are being announced daily by Bet Fred super league clubs as they look ahead to next season and beyond. The latest was the announcement last evening by Warrington Wolves who have signed Canberra Raiders stand off Blake Austin as a replacement to the departing Tyrone Roberts who is returning to the NRL after only one season due to ‘homesickness’.
Austin as look been mentioned as one of those players that can change a game, something he did only last week with his appearance of the bench with 15 minutes remaining his side were losing 30-12 to Canterbury Bulldogs, only for Canberra to score three tires and eventually take the points with a 30-34 win.
When questioned about his new signing, Warrington head coach Steve Price commented;
“I've watched him closely for a number of years,” head coach Steve Price said.
“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.”
The 27 year old who has signed a 3 year deal with the Cheshire club also had only good things to say about his future employers and his excitement to experience England and what super league has to offer.
It turns out Austin isn’t the only NRL stand off that his heading to super league has within the last hour, Leeds Rhinos have announced the capture of Tongan international Tuimoala Lolohea from NRL side West Tigers, only signed for them midway through last season after making his break through with the New Zealand Warriors.
The 23 year old was one of the stars of last seasons Tongan side that raised the bar at international level, beating New Zealand before narrowly being defeated in the semi final by England.
Lolohea, has travelled to this country before as part of the New Zealand side that played at Headingly prior to their three test series against England in 2015 and he says it was his memories of that game and the atmosphere that was a major factor in him penning his three year contract with the Yorkshire side.
On the flip side his signing means the likelihood of Leeds Rhino’s current stand off Joel Moon returning to the NRL after a number of years with both Leeds and Salford Red Devils. The former New Zealand Warrior is believed to have a number of NRL clubs interested should he decide to return down under.