Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Reports emerged yesterday that the Newcastle Knights were looking to secure the services of Wests Tigers halfback Luke Brooks effective immediately, as the Knights come to terms with the fact that they will realistically have to release current halfback, Mitchell Pearce, at some point before the commencement of the 2022 season.
The Catalans Dragons have offered Pearce a three-year worth $1.8 million to replace his former premiership-winning teammate, James Maloney, with Pearce submitting a release request to the Knights so he can take up this deal.
However, Newcastle is remaining strong in their stance that they will only release Pearce if they can lock in a suitable replacement, and Brooks was their main target.
Unfortunately for the Knights, former Wests Tigers premiership-winning coach and current Director of Football at the club Tim Sheens has released a statement via the Tigers official website to confirm that Brooks will not be leaving the club.
“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. It is clear that he remains an integral part of the long-term plans of the club."
🗣 Tim Sheens
— Wests Tigers (@WestsTigers) October 24, 2021
“Luke is a proud local junior and an extremely talented halfback, who has shown an unquestionable level of commitment to Wests Tigers over several 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.
“Wests Tigers have been definitive on this matter and will continue to reiterate this against any untrue speculation.
“It is unfair on Luke, his teammates and family, as well as those involved with the club, to raise false conjecture on his future lying away from Wests Tigers when both he and the club are united on delivering success together.”
The main question now is how does Brooks fit into the Tigers’ plans for 2022?
Adam Doueihi has locked down five-eighth with ease, with former Man of Steel Jackson Hastings joining the Tigers next season as their new halfback.
Brooks could be a solid bench utility player, although the club has also just signed Tyrone Peachey who is experienced in the role and can play in more positions than Brooks.
One thing has been made clear though, Luke Brooks will be a Tiger in 2022.