Luke Brooks in sad new Wests Tigers fallout after brutal swipe at club

The long-time Wests Tigers playmaker looks as though he may have played his final game for the club.

Pictured left to right, Benji Marshall and Luke Brooks.
Benji Marshall has confirmed Luke Brooks will miss the Wests Tigers' final home game of the NRL season. Pic: Getty

It appears there will be no fairytale farewell for long-time Wests Tigers playmaker Luke Brooks, with the veteran halfback ruled out of his final NRL home game with injury. Brooks would have been hoping to sign off on his 11-year stay at the joint venture club with victory in Saturday's final home match of the season against the Dolphins.

However, the 28-year-old has been ruled out of the match with a calf injury and sadly, could have already played his final game for the club. Assistant coach Benji Marshall - who is set to be promoted to the head role in 2024 - confirmed on Friday that Brooks would take no part against the Dolphins.

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Saturday's fixture at CommBank Stadium represented the last opportunity for Brooks to play in front of his home fans in 2023. With the playmaker now in doubt for his side's final away games against the Roosters and Manly, Brooks could be deprived of a fitting farewell at his boyhood club, before he moves to the Sea Eagles next season.

"Unfortunately, he's not going to be playing because he's injured," Marshall confirmed on Friday. "We want to send him off the right way because he's played 200 games and he's given his heart and soul and showed a lot of loyalty to us."

Brooks' omission is set to spark a shake-up in the bottom club's spine, with captain Api Koroisau appearing likely to take the No.7 jersey after training at halfback. Koroisau's shift to the halves means Jake Simpkin is set to take over hooker duties.

The news comes after Brooks took a savage swipe at the way the club has been run, following another season of turmoil that looks set to end in a second successive wooden spoon for the Tigers. Unfortunately for Brooks, his 11-year stint at the club has coincided with a period of sustained mediocrity, with the Tigers not managing to qualify for the finals once in that time.

Brooks has consistently found himself a scapegoat of the club's long-suffering fans, although the Tigers' record of churning through five permanent head coaches in that time has done little to help his cause. The decision this week to fast-track Marshall's rise to the top job was the latest in the coaching merry-go-round at the club.

Luke Brooks took a swipe at Tigers powerbrokers amid the latest drama at the NRL club. Pic: Getty
Luke Brooks took a swipe at Tigers powerbrokers amid the latest drama at the NRL club. Pic: Getty

Luke Brooks takes parting shot at Tigers

Marshall was supposed to take over from head coach Tim Sheens at the end of next season, but both parties and the Tigers board felt it was better to happen after this season. Brooks argued Marshall would only be able effect positive change if everyone at the club was aligned and took a swipe at the Tigers' board for their 12-year finals drought.

Brooks also slammed the club's handling of his own contract situation, whereby he was given a deadline to sign an extension, while weighing up the offer from Manly. The crafty playmaker says his camp were left frustrated at being rushed into a decision over his future.

"When they did that it made my mind up," Brooks told reporters ahead of Saturday's match against the Dolphins. Asked what he thought the Tigers needed to change to be successful next season, Brooks said: "Everyone being on the same page and making decisions, and the right decisions, for the club to go forward.

"I don't know who makes the decisions here, it's hard to say. There's always something going on. I guess (after) 10 years here, I'm sort of used to it."

Brooks' swipe at his boyhood club comes amid a period of unprecedented failure, with the Tigers lurching towards their second successive wooden spoon. It was hoped bringing in the experience of veteran coach Sheens, coupled with the youthful exuberance of Marshall and fellow Tigers legend Robbie Farah, would transform the fortunes at the Tigers but that has failed to materialise.

with AAP

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