Leeds Rhinos: Former target George Williams set to make Warrington Wolves debut as Blake Austin closes in on Headingley move

Leeds Rhinos will be up against one successful target and another they missed out on when Warrington Wolves visit Emerald Headingley tomorrow.

Saturday, 31st July 2021, 4:45 am

Wolves’ initial 21-man squad includes former Great Britain stand-off Blake Austin and England half-back George Williams who could make his debut.

There has been no official announcement, but Rhinos are understood to have completed the signing of Austin on a one-year contract, though a deal to bring him in for the rest of 2021 has not been ruled out.

The 30-year-old Australian-born star played in the halves at Canberra Raiders with Aidan Sezer, who will join Rhinos next season. Leeds, though, are understood to be bringing him in as a utility-player, covering a variety of roles.

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George Williams. Picture by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images.

Ironically, Rhinos also made an approach for Williams, whose arrival means there is no room for Austin at Warrington next year.

The former Wigan play-maker was released by Canberra for personal reasons two months ago and speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of tomorrow’s game, Leeds coach Richard Agar confirmed he expects Williams to play.

“He is a world-class player,” Agar said. “George enjoys playing at Headingley, he has told me that personally and he’s going to want to impress on his debut.

“I am good mates with George’s dad and we did have a chat with George.

“Good players like that don’t come on the market very often and he told us Headingley is his favourite ground, but it became apparent very quickly he didn’t want to be over on this side of the Pennines from a domestic point of view, so there was no point us getting involved too much in a race for his signature.

“The contract wouldn’t have been a problem, but the geography of it wasn’t going to work for George on a domestic front so we didn’t pursue it for too long.”

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