More hands on Brooks to control Tigers

Luke Brooks is excited to play an even greater playmaking role for Wests Tigers this NRL season.
Luke Brooks is excited to play an even greater playmaking role for Wests Tigers this NRL season.

Luke Brooks has declared he's ready to embrace being Wests Tigers' dominant half, determined to increase his touches in a shake up of the NRL club's playing structure.

Brooks will enter a season as the Tigers' oldest half for the first time in his career this year, after spending the past three seasons alongside Benji Marshall.

While the Tigers have long stressed their attack belongs to Brooks, the 26-year-old admits that sometimes he has loosened the reins.

Brooks averaged just 45 touches per game last year - less possessions than halfbacks at 10 other NRL clubs.

While that figure is somewhat impacted by the three games he came off the bench, even Marshall had more average possessions than Brooks.

The Tigers veteran touched the ball more than Brooks in more than half of the games they played 80 minutes together last year.

"It's been good knowing that's my role and taking charge of the team," Brooks told AAP.

"I've sort of played in that role before being the dominant half.

"You probably don't think about (letting Marshall take over) but maybe subconsciously, just because of who they are you let them go.

"I thought we had a pretty good combo there yeah with me and Benji.

"With that experience gone that's a good chance for me to step up and play that role."

The Tigers' move to shift Adam Doueihi to five-eighth will alter the way they play.

Brooks will take a more on-ball role, playing on both sides of the ruck in a style similar to that of Nathan Cleary at Penrith.

The early signs are good with Brooks looking particularly good in Sunday's big 52-18 trial win over Manly.

The move also threatens to unlock fullback Daine Laurie more around the ruck, with the rookie shaping as a serious threat.

"That's the way we're planning an attack, just being on the ball helping me get in the game by being in control," Brooks said.

"Over the past few years most teams have gone away from that left and right half and having a more traditional half and five-eighth combo.

"That's what we're going with this year.

"That helps me get my hands on the ball more and gets me in the game and lets me roam around the field and not just be stuck on the left side."

Australian Associated Press