Maguire denies rampant Wests Tigers whispers

Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire has dismissed reports that the club is trying to offload maligned multimillion-dollar halfback Luke Brooks.

Multiple publications had reported this week that the club had begun gauging the interest of rival clubs in Brooks for next season, despite the fact the 26-year-old is contracted to the Tigers until the end of 2023.

Maguire shot down the whispers when asked by host Mark Levy on Wide World of Sports’ 2GB radio tonight.

“Luke Brooks’ name popped up yesterday suggesting the club was shopping him around to possibly other teams. Is that true, Madge?” Levy said.

“No, it’s not,” a blunt Maguire replied.

Levy prodded.

“So he’s committed long term to the Tigers?”

Maguire began to laugh.

“That’s been a regular conversation since I’ve been here for the last two or three years. I dunno, it just keeps doing the rounds.”

If Brooks remains at the Tigers he’ll be in a battle with incoming Great Britain international Jackson Hastings for the club’s No.7 jumper in 2022.

Hastings played 47 games with the Roosters and Sea Eagles between 2014 and 2018 and, after signing a two-year deal with the Tigers in April, he is set to again test himself in the NRL.

Brooks’ form has regularly copped fierce criticism from rugby league experts since his 2013 debut.

Comparisons were drawn between Brooks and rugby league Immortal Andrew Johns early in his career, which the playmaker said affected his mindset and game.

The Tigers are zeroing in on a clash with Manly in Brisbane on Saturday, in a game that’s set to reignite the famous ‘fibros-versus-silvertails’ rivalry.

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