Wests Tigers halfback Luke Brooks could be on the move despite the club rubbishing rumours that he could depart Concord this off-season.
Reports of Brooks’ departure began after Newcastle reportedly signalled him as a replacement for Mitchell Pearce, but The Sydney Morning Herald’s Andrew Webster believes the halfback would prefer to join another rival club.
While the Knights is his most obvious potential destination, Webster says Brooks’ management are posturing for a switch to Canterbury, if he is granted a release from his Tigers deal.
“They (Newcastle) have got their hearts set on Luke Brooks (as Mitchell Pearce’s replacement),” Webster said on SEN 1170 Mornings.
“The Tigers have said no to Luke Brooks going, and I think publicly he’s saying he doesn’t want to go, but his management is certainly saying things otherwise.
“It’s going around quite strongly, his preference would be the Bulldogs if he was to get out.”
While Brooks might be hoping for a move to Belmore, Webster thinks the recent addition of Andrew Johns to Newcastle’s coaching staff could help change his mind.
“I think the inclusion of Andrew Johns though on the coaching staff and as a halves coach on the Knights should be something that Luke Brooks finds appealing,” Webster explained.
“If anyone has watched Luke Brooks over the last few years, he’s not to blame for the way the Tigers have played, there’s deeper problems at that club than the halfback.
“But if ever a playmaker looked like he needed a change, I think Luke Brooks is it.
“If he goes to Newcastle, which is a fairly strong side … if he’s under the tutelage of the halfback of the century and arguably the greatest player ever, he could do worse.”
Brooks is currently contracted until the end of 2023 with the Tigers and would need to be granted a release if he were to switch clubs.