Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Luke Brooks’s time at the Wests Tigers was seemingly over at the end of last season, with reports constantly emerging that he was out of favour at the club and the signing of the 2019 Man of Steel Jackson Hastings seemed to confirm this.
However, Brooks is still at the Tigers and has been training alongside his side’s recruit as he and Hastings are starting to build chemistry, according to a source from the Tigers who recently spoke to the Mole.
“Luke is training the house down and working really well with (new signing) Jackson Hastings,” a Tigers source told me.
“We are really keen to see the two of them combining out there once the season starts.”
Tigers five-eighth Adam Doueihi underwent a knee reconstruction back in August that will keep him out for the opening few weeks of the 2022 NRL season, giving Brooks the chance to start and prove his worth at the club.
Back in business for 2022! 🐯💼 pic.twitter.com/mFmeVI5i2S
— Wests Tigers (@WestsTigers) January 14, 2022
Whether he remains in the starting side once Doueihi returns will depend much on his own form, and how Hastings performs. A strong start to the season will be needed to ensure he keeps his starting spot as Adam Doueihi proved how important he is to the Tigers at five-eighth in 2021.
Newcastle are still very interested in acquiring Brooks’ services, but the Tigers remain unwilling to release the 27-year-old.
They have stuck by their refusal to part ways with Brooks since late October, as Director of Football Tim Sheens publicly stated that the former Dally M Halfback of the Year was not for sale.
“Luke Brooks is contracted with Wests Tigers until at least the end of 2023 and, contrary to media speculation, will not be leaving the club,” said Sheens.
“Luke is a proud local junior and an extremely talented halfback, who has shown an unquestionable level of commitment to Wests Tigers over a number of years.
“It is clear that he remains an integral part of the long-term plans of Wests Tigers and, in speaking with him, he too is equally focused and passionate on delivering sustained success for the club.”
Whether Sheens and the Tigers will have a change of heart once Adam Doueihi returns remains to be seen, but for now, Brooks seems to be doing all he can to remain a Tiger.