The Penrith centre is so highly regarded at the foot of the mountains that the Panthers recently re-signed him to a five-year deal. Tall and powerful with explosive speed, Blake has a knack for sniffing out a try and finished as the Panthers leading try scorer in 2018 with 12 from 15 matches.
The 24-year-old has already had a taste of representative football after playing City Origin in 2015 and Fiji at the 2017 World Cup. He faces some stiff competition for a spot in the centres in 2019 after Latrell Mitchell and James Roberts made their Origin debuts this year, while Curtis Scott and Jesse Ramien have been named alongside him in the Emerging Blues squad.
Penrith football manager Phil Gould, who is the most successful NSW coach in Origin history, told the Panthers website after Blake re-signed that it was only a matter of time before he was playing representative football consistently.
"Waqa Blake is an outstanding young man and a tremendous success story for our club," Gould said.
"He graduated from the Panthers development system to establish himself as an important member of our NRL team.
"We firmly believe he is a representative player of the future and we are excited to know he will be with us for at least the next five seasons."