HomeSportBrooks freed up to prove doubters wrong

Brooks freed up to prove doubters wrong

Summary

News Corp can reveal that on at least two occasions before Christmas, the Tigers were asked whether they would consider allowing Brooks to leave. At the time, the Tigers No.7 was being linked with both the Knights and Bulldogs, the former having allowed Mitchell Pearce to depart and the latter having lost faith in Kyle Flanagan.Stream every game of every round of the 2022 NRL Telstra Premiership Season Live & Ad-Break Free During Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-days free now.Brooks was seen as a potential alternative for both clubs and it is understood Newcastle officials were closely monitoring developments in Tigerland.There was a view that Brooks had stagnated at the Tigers and a change of scene would allow the classy No.7 to reach his potential. The Tigers, however, dug in their heels, refused to budge and released a statement insisting Brooks was going nowhere. He had two years left on his contract and that was it.Head of football Tim Sheens insisted they were committed to him and he was committed to them. His contract, which is believed to be worth close to the seven-figure mark in the final season, would be honoured.The view at the club hasn’t changed. That said, the sense is that the issue is far from over, although Brooks’ future is likely to hinge to a large extent on results this year and what direction the club decides to take with its head coach.The Daily Telegraph NRL Podcast – PlaylistMichael Maguire is under pressure to remain at the helm after two years of bitter disappointment and there was plenty to like about the way the Tigers dug in last week against Melbourne.At the same time, they walked away beaten and Sunday’s game against the Knights shapes as crucial for coach and club. Brooks got off to a flyer against the Storm. He had two try assists, ran the ball and made 26 tackles in the loss. His only blemish was his goal kicking — he missed three shots at goal, hence the decision to hand the duties to Jackson Hastings this week.While Brooks was doing his best to lead his side to a win, the Knights more than held their own in round one with Adam Clune at halfback.Knights officials could scarcely have been more impressed with Clune doing the off-season.The coaching staff raved about his intelligence and ability to put a game plan into practice. He was originally brought in to provide an insurance policy but he proved more than that in the season opener against the Sydney Roosters.Clune was outstanding against the Roosters and his form this season may yet cause a rethink at the Knights. They have set their sights on strengthening their ranks with some of the most promising players in England, headlined by Huddersfield teenager Will Pryce.If Clune proves his worth, the Knights may back him for the long-term.Brooks, meanwhile, will no doubt be keen to give Knights fans a glimpse of what they missed out on provided he overcomes a leg injury to play on Sunday.Brooks has 16 try assists in two of the last three seasons. He remains an elite halfback on his day, capable of dictating the outcome of matches.Hastings’ arrival has been designed to ease the pressure and allow him unshackle his attack and the Knights will have to be on their guard come Sunday.

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