Luke Brooks says he's excited by the addition of fellow local junior Adam Doueihi and the Leilua brothers to a Wests Tigers side determined to go the distance in season 2020.
Himself committed to the club on a long-term deal, the Wests Tigers halfback welcomed the arrival of three new attacking talents in recent weeks and said their inclusion to the squad has brought another element to pre-season.
“We’ve recruited some great players in the past couple of weeks and I’m excited to be able to play with them," Brooks enthused ahead of training on Monday.
"[Adam] is a bit of a quiet kid but he's definitely a great player. I've watched him over the years at the Rabbitohs and he'll definitely get plenty of game time over here.
"It's great to have another local junior in the side — he played his junior reps at Balmain so it's good to see him back in these colours.
"I think we're ready to play some football [as a team] now. We have a bit over a month to work on our combinations but it's coming together well."
New signings put spring in the step of Wests Tigers
Defending primarily on the left in his time at Wests Tigers, Brooks said he had clear memories of Joey Leilua causing all sorts of problems in defence during his time at Canberra, and welcomed the addition of the Samoan international to the side.
"I'm just happy I don't have to tackle Joey now," Brooks laughed.
"I hated coming up against him.
"It's definitely good to have him in our side because he's caused us a bit of havoc over the years. He's just one of those players who has the x-factor, and I definitely think that's one of the players that we need in the side right now.
"They're both [Leilua brothers] tough to tackle but Joey is something else."
Buoyed by the recent additions out wide as well as the retention of the club's young talent in recent months, the 25-year-old was clear in his mindset for the season ahead.
"Pre-season is definitely when all the hard work gets done," he said.
"We’ve been putting in the hard yards and hopefully it repays us at the end of the year. It’s frustrating sitting at home watching the finals so that’s something that drives us. We want to play final footy and at the end of the day we want to win comps — that’s definitely our goal and what we're focused on."
Joseph Leilua arrives at Wests Tigers
Wests Tigers utility Michael Chee Kam backed Brooks' comments on the recent signings and the determination to reach higher standards in 2020.
"We’re really excited as a club and as a team to have those players here now," Chee Kam added. "We're really looking forward to see them play.
“The Leilua brothers have been quiet but they're both very talented players. I'm really glad Joey is on our team now so we won't have to tackle him — it's definitely a good thing for the club to have them here with us now.
“Our consistency and our lack of focus in the big teams is a big thing for us. We need to ensure we raise to those levels while taking each game by itself next year. We’re working on creating high standards, cutting our errors out and upholding our values while holding each other accountable.”
Wests Tigers will hit the field in a fortnight's time as part of the revamped Nines tournament in Perth before trial matches against the Panthers and Warriors in the lead-up to a season opener against the Dragons on March 15.
Match: Dragons v Wests Tigers
Round 1 -
Venue: WIN Stadium, Wollongong