OPINION: Wests Tigers are slowly killing Luke Brooks' career

·3-min read
Seen here, Wests Tigers halfback Luke Brooks looks on in frustration during an NRL game.
Wests Tigers halfback Luke Brooks is often in the firing line when the club's woes are being dissected. Pic: Getty


Wests Tigers football director Tim Sheens probably thought he was doing the right thing by Luke Brooks in coming out so emphatically in support of his half-back and declaring there was no way the club will let him leave.

But he may instead be killing Brooks' career via a slower route.

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Forcing the No.7 to endure two more potentially fruitless seasons at the Tigers does no-one any good.

Not Brooks, not Sheens, not Michael Maguire and definitely not the fans. 

It's clear to anyone who has watched Brooks closely over the years that it’s just not working for him or the Tigers.

I was at the SCG the day he announced his arrival to the rugby league world in 2013, scoring a try on debut, producing two try assists and tearing the Dragons a new one.

Walking out of the ground that night, I was convinced I had seen the next big thing.

I wasn't alone.

Comparisons - grossly unfair in hindsight but understandable given their physical similarities and the way Brooks controlled the game - were being made to the great Andrew Johns.

Pictured here, Luke Brooks carries the footy in an NRL game for Wests Tigers in 2021.
For whatever reason, Luke Brooks has failed to live up to the hype at the Wests Tigers. Pic: Getty

One hundred and sixty-two NRL games later and that match is still arguably Brooks' stand-out performance.

Whatever the reason, he just has not kicked on and become the dominant match-winner we all thought he would.

It was sad to watch his body language as the Tigers slumped to a last-round loss to wooden-spooner Canterbury.

Luke Brooks yet to play finals with Tigers

Eight seasons without a solitary finals appearance will do that to a bloke.

Brooks looked a spent force, like a partner trapped in a loveless marriage trying to convince himself he still cared.

For years there has been talk about a divorce between club and player, breaking off a relationship that has no real future.

And each time it has been shut down. 

But there's no disgrace in shaking hands and parting company amicably.

Sometimes it's as simple as not being the right person for the job.

No hard feelings and all the best with your next move.

Newcastle is Brooks' latest potential suitor, set to come calling once Mitchell Pearce's release is formalised.

Don’t think the Knights will be dissuaded by Sheens' strong 'hands off' statement.            

No doesn't always mean no in rugby league.

Brett Finch knows a thing or two about moving half-backs on and sees no point in keeping Brooks at the Tigers.

"If you keep doing the same thing you’re going to get the same result," he told Radio SEN.

"Brooksy's been there eight years and has not taken his team to a final series.

"I think for both parties a change would be best for the best." 

We now just need to convince Tim Sheens.

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