The Manly Sea Eagles will showcase a new-look halves combination in 2024, with skipper Daly Cherry-Evans joined by former Dally M halfback of the year, Luke Brooks.
Brooks joins Manly after a rollercoaster tenure as the Wests Tigers No.7, an era in which the side failed to register a finals appearance and produced a long list of disappointing seasons.
The 29-year-old was often the centre of criticism for the Tigers’ failures but with a wealth of experienced spine partners with him at Manly, he has seemingly had a massive weight lifted off his shoulders.
Brooks’ soon-to-be halves partner, Cherry-Evans opened up on his newfound relationship with the former Tigers halfback and how their commonalities off the field could help build chemistry during games.
“It’s been good to meet ‘Brooksy’ and hang out with him, obviously we’re training together and getting to know each other on that level,” Cherry-Evans told SEN.com.au.
“We’ve spent some time (together) off the field as well, it’s been good to get to know him, he’s got a young daughter, so we can relate in that regard, I’ve got young girls myself.
“We’re going to have more things to talk about this year than footy which will hopefully bring us together and in turn help us play better footy.”
Brooks is likely to break the record for the most amount of games played without featuring in a final, needing just 14 more appearances to overtake Mark O’Neil atop of the unwanted leaderboard.
With the unfortunate record looming, Cherry-Evans admitted he doesn’t attach himself to a win, loss record and is motivated to push for more wins, which in turn will help Brooks’ case.
“I’m very motivated, very driven to succeed and play well, obviously it’s a results-driven industry,” Cherry-Evans added.
“You try not to attach yourself too much to wins and losses as you get older but it would be nice to win some more games this year and ultimately that does make for a real easier week.
“Winning games would be great, although it doesn’t define you it does make you feel better, unfortunately, that’s the world we live in.”
Cherry-Evans and Brooks will likely make their official debut together in Manly’s first hit out of the NRL’s Preseason Challenge this Saturday night against the Sydney Roosters.