Under-pressure Brooks devoted to Tigers

·2-min read

Halfback Luke Brooks says he's been assured of the club's backing following reports the Wests Tigers are looking to move him on before the end of his contract.

Not for the first time, the 26-year-old fronted questions about his future on Saturday night after the Tigers' heartbreaking 18-14 loss to South Sydney.

Questions about his ability to get the Tigers to the finals for the first time in his ninth season of NRL have bubbled as the Tigers have struggled to a 1-5 start.

However, it came to a head after a miserable 34-30 loss to North Queensland last week with reports surfacing the club is considering offloading Brooks and his big-money deal before his contract ends in 2023.

A local junior who grew up supporting the Tigers, Brooks said he has never entertained leaving the club despite the suggestion he could blossom into his potential with a fresh start.

He's not interested in success anywhere else.

"I'm here for a few years now so it's out of the question. I want to be here, I want to be successful at the Tigers," he said.

"I've stuck around and I can see the club is moving in the right direction so I want to be a part of that."

Saturday's golden-point thriller was Brooks' 154th game and despite his obvious talent he is yet to play finals football.

That the Tigers haven't played finals since 2011 is further ammunition for his critics.

It's understood the club were momentarily interested in Newcastle halfback Mitchell Pearce in the off-season and also confirmed interest in former Manly and Sydney Roosters half Jackson Hastings.

Brooks has been linked to the Cowboys who are on the hunt for a replacement for retired skipper Michael Morgan and Jake Clifford, who has signed with the Knights next year.

However, Brooks said he has been told by the Tigers many times that he has their backing.

Chairman Lee Hagipantelis also said as much to NRL.com in recent days.

"I haven't asked personally but they have spoken to me plenty of times and that's good for me to know they're still backing me," Brooks said.

"(Coach Michael Maguire has) stuck up for me and helped me out.

"It's outside opinions.

"They're allowed to have their opinions but Madge and the club is happy with me and that's all I care about."

Meanwhile the Tigers suffered a blow on Sunday, with young winger AJ Kepaoa ruled out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL after going down in Saturday's loss.