Wests Tigers have reportedly “changed their tune” on embattled halfback Luke Brooks and the club is said to be looking to move him out of Concord before the end of his contract.
That’s the word from the Sydney Morning Herald following the Tigers’ 34-30 loss to North Queensland at Leichhardt Oval.
The Tigers were honouring the memory of rugby league icon Tommy Raudonikis, who passed away during the week, but they put in an insipid performance in the first half as the previously winless Cowboys ran riot.
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The Tigers were booed off the field at half time.
Questions have been asked of coach Michael Maguire but the Herald reports club hierarchy were instead discussing Brooks as the issue following the first 40 minutes on Sunday.
Brooks, 26, was once tipped to be an Origin halfback but he has not played a single finals game in the eight seasons he’s essentially been in charge of the Tigers attack.
During the off-season the club tinkered with the idea of bringing Newcastle No.7 Mitchell Pearce to Concord, but for now they’ve decided to stick solid with Brooks.
NRL: The Big League Wrap team talk the Wests Tigers dismal first half performance against the North Queensland Cowboys at Leichhardt Oval….
NRL: The Big League Wrap team talk the Wests Tigers dismal first half performance against the North Queensland Cowboys at Leichhardt Oval.
He has two more seasons to run on a deal said to worth $900,000 a year, but the newspaper reports the Tigers will now consider options to push him out of the club so they can bring in someone else.
“A few months ago the club considered making a play for Mitchell Pearce, but their faith in Brooks prevented them from acting on it,” Herald reporter Michael Chammas writes.
“After Sunday’s loss, in which a knock-on from Brooks in the dying seconds denied the Tigers a chance at snatching a miracle last-ditch win, the club has changed its tune.”
The Cowboys are rumoured to have interest in signing Brooks, which would reunite him with Todd Payten who previously worked at the Tigers.
North Queensland has plenty of money in the salary cap after the sudden retirement of captain and halfback Michael Morgan, who was earning $1 million. The Cowboys have also released playmaker Jake Clifford to the Knights from next season.
The Herald reports the Cowboys are keen to lure both Brooks and off-contract South Sydney halfback Adam Reynolds to Townsville to play as a halves pairing.
Reynolds, though, would surely also be sounded out by the Tigers if the club can move Brooks on.
Reynolds has been unable to strike a deal with the Rabbitohs and is looking for a new home from the end of this season.
Pearce, meanwhile, just signed a one-year extension which keeps him at the Knights until the end of 2022.
Originally published asStar on outer as Tigers ‘change tune’
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