SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 01: Luke Brooks of the Tigers passes during the round 20 NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the North Queensland Cowboys at Leichhardt Oval on August 01, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Round 4 marked yet another disappointing loss for the West Tigers, who continue to struggle under the guidance of Michael McGuire.

As pressure continues to mount on the underachieving coach, it's perhaps Wests highest-paid star who has suffered the most since Ivan Cleary's departure.

Luke Brooks appears to be a shell of his former self as he has struggled to reignite the magic that had him named the Daly M half-back of the year in 2018, even if his side didn't make the finals that year - and never have with Brooks in the side.

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While reports refuse to disappear that Brooks wants out of the club following a summer of being linked to the Newcastle Knights, it has been revealed by The Sydney Morning Herald that Brooks stands to earn around $1.1 million in 2023.

The now veteran half, who has more than 170 NRL games to his resume, is off-contract at the end of 2023, and while speculation refuses to disappear, the Tigers new director of football Tim Sheens has backed he - and coach Michael Maguire - time and time again.

His salary however makes it almost untenable for a release to occur, given the Tigers would need to pay a large chunk for any other club to pick him up, despite recent reports that Shane Flanagan and Kyle Flanagan could arrive at the joint venture, which would see the departure of Brooks to the Bulldogs and Maguire from the club.

Those rumours, however, have been denied by Tigers officials. 

Brooks' current predicament isn't conducive to winning football as he seems stranded on a rebuilding side with a coach who has struggled to get the most out of his talent, while simultaneously commanding such an exorbitant fee that making a move to any contending side seemingly impossible.

This endless cycle of mediocrity will force the Tigers to consider one of two options as 2023 looms, either back McGuire who inherited a suspect roster with salary-cap limitations, or back their best player regains form in the wake of a coaching change.

The Tigers are set to face fourth-placed Cronulla on Sunday as pressure continues to mount on the clubs impending future.




  1. No-one forced the Tigers to offer Luke such a generous contract.
    No-one should complain if Luke decides to see out this year and next at Wests.

    NRL life is short. Make the most of the big money while you can, Luke.
    You will be retired for a long time.
    Just keep doing the best you can in a second-rate team. You can’t do more, and no-one should expect you to do so.

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