A surprise new suitor for out-of-favour Tigers star Luke Brooks has emerged following reports he is about to be axed.
Wests Tigers playmaker Luke Brooks has been linked with a move north, while his teammate Tyrone Peachey is free to negotiate with rival clubs.
Brooks is reportedly set to be dropped for the first time in his NRL career when the Tigers name their team for Round 16 next week.
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He is on $1.1 million next season in the final year of his deal and the Tigers are reportedly trying to offload him.
It sets the stage for a surprise recruitment play by Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett.
Bennett is yet to land a marquee signing for the club’s inaugural season next year and Brooks could be an option.
Bennett has already signed teenage halfback Isaiya Katoa and is expected to land veteran five-eighth Anthony Milford.
Brooks’ management twice asked for a release last summer when he was linked with a move to the Knights. The Tigers reportedly said no.
Veteran rugby league reporter Dave Riccio said the scenario for the Tigers and Brooks has changed dramatically since the summer.
“It’s far different to the pre-season when a lot of clubs had some cash to splash around. There’s not clubs just sitting with surplus funds in their cap at the moment to pick up Luke Brooks and it would have to be a case of the Tigers chipping in a significant amount,” he said.
“The Dolphins need a playmaker, don’t they. Wayne Bennett, we’ve seen what he can do for a player who is down on confidence. He could be a good fit at the Dolphins, a really good playmaker.”
Adam Doueihi has returned from a serious knee injury and it’s expected he’ll play in the halves with Jackson Hastings.
“The problem is he’s on so much money, they’re trying to shop him around and get somebody to pick up the lion’s share of that contract,” Paul Kent said on NRL 360.
Meanwhile, the Tigers have granted out of favour utility Tyrone Peachey the opportunity to negotiate with NRL rivals after his management requested permission to explore his options.
The Daily Telegraph reported the Tigers will allow Peachey to find another club despite having 18 months remaining on his two-year deal with the club.
The 30-year-old was signed by the Tigers after the Titans chose not to extend his three year stay on the Gold Coast.
However, Peachey has struggled for game time under former coach Michael Maguire and now interim coach Brett Kimmorley at the Tigers.
Peachey has scored one try in just eight games for the club this season, with most of those appearances coming off the bench.
Director of football Tim Sheens has adopted a development strategy in a bid to turn the club around by focusing on their impressing juniors coming through the ranks.
Peachey has scored 50 tries in 187 NRL games for the Sharks, Panthers, Titans and Tigers since his debut back in 2013 and played three Origins for the Blues in 2018.
The former representative player’s career is now at a crossroads as he bids to find more game time at an NRL rival ahead of the 2022 finals series.
It remains to be seen if Peachey would be open to exploring opportunities in the Super League if an NRL club doesn’t emerge for the veteran.
Originally published as Tigers star Luke Brooks linked with move north after axing report