On behalf of the Panthers Board of Directors, the club is delighted to announce Waqa Blake has extended his contract by an additional two years.

The new deal means the 22-year-old will remain with the Panthers until at least the end of the 2019 season.

“I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to stay with the Panthers,” Blake said.

“I loved this club from the moment I first arrived and the direction we’re heading now is really exciting.

“I want to thank the members and fans for their support because playing for them is an honour.”

Blake joined the Panthers at the end of 2012 after being scouted playing SG Ball with the West Coast Pirates in Perth.

Over the next two seasons he progressed through the grades and eventually made his NRL debut in Round 5, 2015.

One of the club’s most improved players last season, Blake has notched up 39 games for the Panthers and scored 13 tries.

“Waqa’s story is a great one,” Panthers Executive General Manager Phil Gould AM said.

“He came through our education and welfare house parenting program as a teenager and was a member of our premiership-winning NYC side in 2013.

“He has progressed through the grades, improving every season, and is now a valuable member of our NRL team.

“Waqa’s best football is still ahead of him. He is an outstanding athlete and I believe he is a high level representative player of the future.

“We are so excited he has committed to our club for the next three seasons.”