Penrith centre Waqa Blake has been granted an immediate release to join the Parramatta Eels.
The development comes just days out from the June 30 player transfer deadline.
It is understood Parramatta will announce Blake’s signing on a four-year deal later this afternoon.
24-year-old Blake has played 88 NRL games for Penrith and is currently sidelined with injury.
He successfully came into the NRL through the Panthers’ junior system, winning back-to-back premierships as part of the NYC and NSW Cup sides in 2013 and 2014.
“Panthers was initially approached by Parramatta to express their interest in acquiring the services of Waqa Blake,” Panthers CEO Brian Fletcher said.
“Ultimately it was a difficult decision to grant Waqa’s release but it will assist the management of our salary cap moving forward.
“We extend our sincere thanks to Waqa for his contribution at Panthers and wish him the best of luck for the future.”
The departure of Blake potentially opens the door for the Panthers to bring Gold Coast centre Tyrone Peachey back to the club.
Peachey departed Penrith at the end of last season but is understood to be unhappy at the Titans and wants to return to Sydney.
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Senior Writer. He has more than 15 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations.