SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES - APRIL 29: Luke Brooks of the Tigers looks dejected after defeat during the round Eight NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium on April 29, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

If the Tigers are to bring in Nathan Cleary to play under his father, Ivan, it would spell the end of Luke Brooks or Josh Reynolds’ tenure at the joint-venture club.

That’s according to Fox League commentator Greg Alexander, who believes the trio can’t all fit under the same salary cap.

The obvious choice to make way for Cleary would be Brooks given the pair play in the same position, and Alexander believes that’s the most likely scenario, with Reynolds on a lucrative contract.

”If Nathan Cleary goes to join his Dad then I would say Luke Brooks wouldn’t be at the Tigers,” Alexander said on Fox League on Thursday night.

“They can’t fit them all in. They have Josh Reynolds who has a four year deal at the Tigers and hasn’t struck a blow this year because of injury and he’s on a massive deal.”

Cleary has impressed for the Panthers this season and was apart of the Blues’ State of Origin victory, while Brooks has had his moments for the Tigers.

Reynolds has only featured five times in 2018, with injuries interrupting his season.

Despite Benji Marshall currently owning the No. 6 jersey, his career is set to come to an end over the next couple of seasons, meaning a spot is open in the halves.

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“You would think that by the end of next year Benji (Marshall) would have played his last footy, even though he is going great at the moment,” Alexander added.

“So I would think Luke Brooks would have to move on. If they were going to sign Nathan Cleary they can’t fit both of them in and still have Josh Reynolds there.

“Otherwise they make a decision and say, Josh Reynolds is superfluous and sell him off to some other club and keep Cleary and Brooks as the halves.”

The only problem with keeping Cleary and Brooks in the side, is the fact they’re both genuine halfbacks.

Alexander doesn’t see that as a major problem, suggesting Brooks could shift to five-eighth to allow Cleary to flourish at No. 7.

“I think Brooks could play No.6,” Alexander said.

“There is a lot of money tied up if you had Reynolds, Cleary and Brooks.

“But I think Luke Brooks could handle it because he has been a player that has taken some time to own the team.

“In his early days he was a player that didn’t mind standing back and looked like he was reluctant to own the team.

“He has had Mitchell Moses outside him, who was a more dominant player, but I think Brooks could play in the No.6 because he has the running game to play like a No.6 or a second fullback.

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“Nathan is not that type of player, he is a halfback, but I think you could fit both in.”


  1. If Cleary goes to the Tigers, Penrith can make Luai their permanent half back. Or Blore. Perhaps another up & comer?
    The Roosters want to keep O’Sullivan, but only as a reserve half back by most reports. Buying him back, as he would naturally want to be the number one half back is another option. He is a Penrith junior.

  2. Tigers have been up there with souths for entertainment value this year. Thompson and Marsters have had a great season.
    Ya cant keep them all tigpies !

  3. I’m a Tigers supporter and I kind of hope Wests don’t sign Cleary. They would have to pay well over 1 million to get him here and for the future of Nathan, he should stay in Penrith where he was developed and lead the team which has been moulded around him.

  4. At first I didn’t like the Reynolds signing, but after what he showed in the 4 or 5 games he played in I liked what I saw. But, you can’t be the highest paid player at the club and only play 4 or 5 games. I know what I get out of Reynolds, but Brooks still has a long way to go and will only get better. Wouldn’t mind if the Tigers release Reynolds, Brooks would be a great 5/8 and Cleary is a real talent.

  5. Reynolds to super league in 2020

    Cleary and Brooks a great halves pairing in 2020 for the Tigers

    left and right kicking combination, Ivan Cleary has been getting Brooks to work on his running game for that reason to eventually slot him into the #6

  6. My crystal ball sees the Cleary’s in Brisbane. It’s a salary cap dream. Pay Ivan a fortune and get junior under the cap.

  7. Don’t be surprised to see Brooks leave if Cleary signs. The current tigers team belongs to him, and Nathan would be taking that away from him. It wouldnt shock me at all to see Brooks end up at the Roosters, who’ll be looking for a halfback after the retirement of Cooper Cronk

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