Having already made his first-grade debut for the Penrith Panthers before his off-season switch to Wests Tigers, five-eighth Blake Austin knows the effort and intensity required to succeed as a first-grade player.

The playmaker will line up for his maiden first-grade appearance this weekend against the North Queensland Cowboys following a suspension to regular five-eighth Braith Anasta, and while he’s is clearly relishing the chance to prove himself once more, Austin is continuing to remain grounded.

“It’s an opportunity,” said Austin, “and that’s all it is at the moment.”

“I’ll be going out to play my best footy and see what comes of that. I’m in a pretty good head space right now so I can’t wait to get out there.”

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Following on from two strong appearances in the Club’s preseason games against Penrith and Cronulla respectively, Austin has continued his scintillating form with the Club’s VB NSW Cup squad — posting consecutive match-winning performances over the past two weeks to take the team to third place overall.

The five-eighth currently leads all players in the competition for tries as well as points scored, and spoke of his desire to continue his combination with fullback Kurtis Rowe, who will also make his debut for the Club this weekend.

“I’ve formed a good combination in the NSW Cup with Rowe and I’m really excited to be involved in his first game too.”

“He’s a great player and I think we’ll go really well together,” he said.

“I’ll be going out there on Saturday night to do my bit for the team and hopefully we can come away with another win.”