After losing gun trio Mitchell Moses, James Tedesco and Aaron Woods to rival clubs, Wests Tigers embarked on the biggest recruitment in the joint venture’s history.
Representative stars Josh Reynolds, Russell Packer, Ben Matulino, Benji Marshall, Chris McQueen, Taane Milne and Mahe Fonua, plus several other handy fringe players, will don the black, white and gold in 2018.
But there’s no avoiding the fact the key man in a potential Tigers revival is the only remaining member of the club’s so-called ‘big four’: halfback Luke Brooks.
Now a veteran of four full seasons in the NRL and 83 first grade appearances, Brooks’ prodigious talent is yet to be fully realised. He has had his highlight-reel moments and match-winning performances, but an inability to consistently control games has been a bugbear for a Tigers side that has not played finals footy since 2011.
With Reynolds and Marshall joining the club – plus five-eighth incumbent and Tonga No.6 Tui Lolohea also an option – coach Ivan Cleary has options in the halves if Brooks fails to fire.
The 23-year-old spoke to Wests Tigers TV for their player profile series about the new recruits, a trying-yet-promising 2017 campaign, and his excitement for the new season ahead – despite the weighty expectations that are once again on his shoulders.