The NRL’s most intriguing player could be Luke Brooks. While he has played over 200 games of first grade, no one knows for sure if he’s any good. Now that he’s signed for Manly, it remains to be seen whether Luke Brooks Island was just a beach away from being complete or the overhyped resort that failed to deliver his potential.
Brooks’ career is considered a failure by many, but a lot of his shortcomings are attributed to factors outside of his control. Critics argue that he wasn’t as good as his pay cheque at the Wests Tigers, but the blame is placed on the club rather than Brooks himself. His career overlapped with the success of James Tedesco and Mitchell Moses, who excelled after leaving the Tigers, which wasn’t Brooks’ fault.
When looking at Brooks’ performance, it must be considered that he played alongside teammates who weren’t exactly world-class. He also faced the challenge of playing behind a struggling pack, which made him look bad despite his underlying talent. Even though he received the Rookie of the Year award in 2014, the quality of his teammates has had a significant impact on his performance.
As Brooks enters the next phase of his career with Manly, he has the opportunity to thrive in an environment that will complement his abilities. With Daly Cherry-Evans taking the leadership role, and a new pack alongside him, Brooks may finally have the support he needs to succeed. There is hope that Manly’s lineup, which includes a top fullback and an improved five-eighth, will elevate Brooks’ game.
Overall, Brooks has the potential to shine at Manly and to fulfill the expectations that have surrounded his career. He has the opportunity to enter his prime years and may finally find the support and resources needed to show his true capabilities at the club.