Canberra Raiders’ five-eighth Blake Austin said he wants to stay in the nation’s capital but isn’t going to rush to sign his contract for next season as pressure mounts on the Raiders off-contract stars to confirm where they are playing next year.
Austin – along with teammates Aidan Sezer and Josh Papalii – is one of ten Canberra stars whose future remains uncertain but the five-eighth admitted he wants to be certain he is committed before he signs his contract with the Green Machine.
“I’d still love to be in Canberra, my kids are comfortable here,” Austin said.
“But it’s about making sure everything’s right and being comfortable putting a signature on a piece of paper because if I am going to do that, I want to be 100% committed and make sure I’m helping the Raiders get some success.”
Austin admitted that it would be easier to have his future already decided but said he was prepared to focus on his footy and leave the off-field things to handle themselves.
“It’s certainly easier having your future sorted, but this is the game we play and it’s something we’ve become accustomed to,” Austin said.
“Ideally the time frame would’ve been yesterday, but this is the predicament I’m in. One thing I have learned to do is back myself and that’s what I’ll continue to do on the field and things will take care of itself.
“The most important thing is winning games for the Raiders at the moment, what happens on the back of that everybody will sort out when the time’s right.”
Despite their loss to the Gold Coast Titans in the first match of the season in which Canberra gave up a 24-6 lead, Austin said the Green Machine wasn’t focused on revenge.
“We were disappointed with how that first round went but I think the season’s too long to think about revenge or anything like that,” he said.
“Where we sit on the ladder, it’s a really important game for us and one we have to win.”
Canberra Raiders vs Gold Coast Titans at GIO Stadium, Saturday 3 pm. Buy your tickets from Ticketek.
Raiders squad: 1. Jack Wighton, 2. Nick Cotric, 3. Jarrod Croker (c), 4. Joey Leilua, 5. Jordan Rapana, 6. Blake Austin, 7. Aidan Sezer, 8. Sia Soliola, 9. Siliva Havili, 10. Junior Paulo, 11. Joe Tapine, 12. Elliott Whitehead, 13. Josh Papalii. Interchange from: 14. Ata Hingano, 15. Shannon Boyd, 16. Luke Bateman, 17. Dunamis Lui, 18. Liam Knight, 19. Michael Oldfield, 20. Brad Abbey, 21. Jack Murchie.
Titans squad: 1. Michael Gordon, 2. Anthony Don, 3. Brendan Elliot, 4. Konrad Hurrell, 5. Phillip Sami, 6. Bryce Cartwright, 7. Ash Taylor, 8. Jarrod Wallace, 9. Mitch Rein, 10. Ryan James (c), 11. Kevin Proctor, 12. Will Matthews, 13. Jai Arrow. Interchange from: 14. Max King, 15. Jack Stockwell, 16. Keegan Hipgrave, 17. Ryan Simpkins, 18. Leilani Latu, 19. Moeaki Fotuaika, 20. Brenko Lee, 21. Kane Elgey.