Penrith Panthers is delighted to confirm Eddie Blacker has joined the club for the remainder of the 2021 season after being released by St George Illawarra Dragons.
The signing of the 21-year-old prop on a one-year deal, with a club option for 2022, comes as Billy Burns is granted an immediate release from his Panthers contract to join the Dragons.
"Billy is a success story emerging from our club’s significant investment in Rugby League development in central west NSW," Panthers General Manager Rugby League Matt Cameron said.
"While it’s always sad to see a player we’ve developed leave the club, allowing Billy to move on at this point is in the best interests of all parties.
"We currently enjoy strong depth in Billy’s position and his departure will assist with our club’s management of the salary cap moving forward.
"At the same time it gives us the opportunity to improve the depth of our front row stocks and in that regard we’re excited to welcome Eddie Blacker to Panthers.
"Eddie is a talented young prop whose physical attributes will make him a valuable asset for our squad this season."
Born in Brisbane, Blacker came through the junior grades at Brisbane Broncos and represented the Queensland U20s Origin side in 2019.
He made his NRL debut for the Dragons in Round 20 last season.
"I think the success this Panthers team is having says everything about the club and I’m just excited to be a part of it," Blacker said.
"I like to think of myself as an effort player so from the first session I’ll be focused on doing all the little things right and making a good impression.
"I can’t wait to rip in and show everyone what I’m about."