Demotion can be making of Brooks: Maguire

Luke Brooks will be used off the bench when Wests Tigers face Brisbane in round 10 of the NRL.
Luke Brooks will be used off the bench when Wests Tigers face Brisbane in round 10 of the NRL.

Michael Maguire insists dropping Luke Brooks from Wests Tigers' NRL starting side can be the turning point for the halfback.

Brooks will come off the bench in Friday night's clash with Brisbane, marking the first demotion for the 25-year-old since he became a regular NRL player in 2014.

Maguire insisted his star half had taken the relegation well, after he made the call to go combination of Benji Marshall and Billy Walters after the suspension of Josh Reynolds.

Once given the unfair mantle of being the next Andrew Johns, Brooks has spent his career with question marks over whether he will live up to his potential.

And Maguire is hopeful the decision to axe him from the starting side can prove a decisive moment for the Tigers junior

"That's what we're hoping for, definitely," Maguire said.

"You hear all that chatter and Brooksy is aware of all that chatter.

"The one thing I ask Brooksy to do is go out and do his job week in, week out.

"That's what he needs to be doing.

"If he does that, we all know he is capable.

"He's just got to be at his best week in, week out.

"We probably haven't seen that at times."

Brooks has set up three tries this year, while he missed nine tackles in last week's loss to South Sydney.

The Tigers attack only appeared to have any real spark when Marshall was on the field in that loss, as he too returned from his own axing via the bench.

Brooks will likely come off the bench and into the halves against the Broncos, allowing Walters to give Harry Grant a rest at hooker.

But it means the Tigers will start with their fourth halves combination in just 10 games this year.

"People don't realise at training we use all the combinations," Maguire said.

"Whoever I put in they've got to do their part for the team.

"I'm comfortable with how we're making changes."

Maguire insisted he had no issue starting Russell Packer, whose only game this year was a nightmare 12 minutes on the field and 10 off it in the sin bin before a three-week suspension.

"Russ has been through a fairly bumpy period in my time here," Maguire said.

"He has been injured and his body hasn't allowed him to get out and train.

"Now is the best he has been ... I'm actually seeing the real Russ."

STATS THAT MATTER

* Wests Tigers have never beaten Brisbane in a regular season match in Sydney.

* David Nofoaluma's 51 tackle busts are the equal-most in the NRL this year.

* Brisbane have conceded the most penalties in the NRL as well as the most errors inside their own half.

Stats: Fox Sports

Australian Associated Press