Leichhardt advantage can favour Tigers

Scott Bailey
Luke Brooks (r) says the Tigers would happily play more games at Leichhardt in 2020

Wests Tigers halfback Luke Brooks believes his side can still gain a home ground advantage out of Leichhardt even without fans jam-packed onto the famous hill.

The suburban ground is believed to be one of a small number of Sydney venues being considered by the NRL for the early rounds of the resumed season.

The NRL is expected to favour smaller grounds for shut-out games if they go away from a home-and-away structure.

Leichhardt is a favourite for broadcasters, while its close proximity to the city and iconic hill make it a likely pick.

All venues are expected to be looked at for biosecurity purposes this week, with another Tigers home ground at Bankwest Stadium and Kogarah also likely options for Sydney clubs.

And if Leichhardt is used, Brooks believes that could benefit the Tigers given he knows the slant to both sides from the middle, as well as at the Mary St end of the ground.

"I think it does a bit (help). We know the ground very well and have played there a fair bit," Brooks said.

"Leichhardt is a little different. It's a bit hilly and you know where the ball will sit up and roll a bit more. That can be an advantage as well.

"Hopefully there are more games there because it will help us."

The Tigers' record at Leichhardt is the best of any of their home grounds, having won 47 of 82 games there since their merger in 2000.

In recent years it is not as strong, having won just two of their past six and eight of their past 21 since the start of 2015.

Meanwhile Brooks and captain Moses Mbye are expected to be fit for the NRL's return on May 28, regardless of who and where the Tigers play.

Mbye missed the opening two rounds of the season with a knee injury, while Brooks was absent with a calf complaint.

"Covid was pretty timely for me," Mbye said.

"I was injured so I didn't have to miss many games because of the break.

"I'm certainly looking forward to playing some footy,

"It's going really well. I had a really long time to get my rehab right and I was fortunate enough to have access to the physio."