Play football proficiently in Australia and it could lead to better things, depending on the specific definition of better.
For better or for worse, however, Canberra Raiders five-eighth Blake Austin has got himself a gig in England for Super League club Warrington. He will leave Canberra at the end of the season and if all goes according to plan, will play for the Wolves for the next three seasons.
Austin was the Dally M Five-eighth in 2015, so his moving overseas will create a void for Canberra.
He is 27 years of age and has some time on his clock. He will turn 28 on 1 February, so after his stint in England, he could be brought back with still some football in him.
He expressed the customary thanks to everybody in the nation’s capital.
Thanks to my teammates and the Canberra members and fans for embracing me as one of their own,” he said. “I hope to be remembered as a guy that gave his all in green.”
The NRL setup that permits clubs to negotiate and sign players during the season is an odd one and happenings such as those involving Austin are common and lead to the inevitable discussion centering on players’ motivation as they play out the string under lame duck status.
Austin Addressed that issue, saying, “I look forward to playing the best footy I can for the remainder of the 2018 season.”
The Raiders need him to live up to that promise. They are close to qualify to play finals, but Austin and his teammates may not be in control of their destiny. They need to win consistently and hope that The New Zealand Warriors, Brisbane Broncos, Cronulla Sharks or Sydney Roosters have some sort of collapse.
Any further losses by the Raiders would seem to jeopardise their already slim hope of advancing, regardless of whether Austin plays his best footy or his second-best footy for the remainder of the Telstra 2018 NRL Premiership competition.