NRL news | Wests Tigers have always botched Luke Brooks’ halves role, Peter Sterling says


Wests Tigers have botched Luke Brooks’ halves role throughout his time at the club, legendary halfback Peter Sterling says.

With Brooks being touted to exit the Tigers, despite denials from coach Michael Maguire, Sterling said that the No.7 had always been miscast as an organising halfback.

Once hailed as the next Andrew Johns, Brooks instead developed into a running halfback who has been shackled by organisational duties, Sterling told Wide World of Sports.

Asked on Sterlo’s Wrap if Maguire using Brooks as the organising half was not the right move, Sterling replied: “I don’t think it ever has been.

“I thought that he was playing well alongside Moses Mbye just for those couple of weeks there, because Moses was more that player and Adam Doueihi has shown … the great thing about Adam Doueihi is that he wants the football and he straightens the attack and he’s a young player who’s only going to grow more into the role.

“We know what kind of player Luke Brooks is now. He’s not going to change. You’re not going to change him because you’d be doing a disservice.

“If a club is looking for a running halfback who was prepared to play second-fiddle to another playmaker, he’s your man.

“I still think he’s a first-grader and I still think his best football is yet to be.”

Brooks has been linked with Cronulla and Canberra. A club that could put complementary players around Brooks may get the best out of him, Sterling said.

“A club that’s probably got the right mix around him in regards to the five-eighth, the back of the scrum. Someone who’s looking for a running halfback that’s not necessarily an organising halfback. Someone who is a left-foot kicker, which can complement someone who kicks to the right side as well,” Sterling said.

“There are a lot of components there but realistically, it’s about a club that’s got the right people that he would fit into but needs a No.7 who’s not going to be your organising half, probably first and foremost.

“He’s a runner of the football, he’s better when someone else calls the shots and that’s why Adam Doueihi has been such a success when he’s played in the six jersey.”

Brooks has not played finals football for Wests Tigers despite being in his ninth season at the club, with 165 NRL games to his name. The club has already recruited Jackson Hastings for next season, a move that heightened speculation around Brooks’ future.

“Maybe their patience is obviously getting thin,” Sterling said.

“There’s a lot of talk about Wests Tigers at the moment in regards to recruitment and who might be coming and who might not.

“Luke Brooks has been under pressure for a long, long time. Some of it has been warranted.

“I think he hasn’t had the right people around him for a fair part of that but if they can’t see him in a photo on the wall of a team that plays finals football, then you look elsewhere.

“I like him as a player. I still don’t think he’s necessarily been utilised properly and I don’t think the right people have been around him.

“He’s 26 now, he’s got a lot of first grade under his belt, hasn’t played finals football in his time there, so it’s a huge concern.

“I’m not that surprised. For a team that’s running where they are and the amount of talk about recruitment and possible replacements, no, I’m not surprised in that context.”

Brooks has been cp Tim Sheens, Mick Potter, Jason Taylor, Ivan Cleary and Maguire while at Wests Tigers.

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