Maligned halfback Luke Brooks took aim at Wests Tigers officials in one of the most candid media interviews of his career.
The 27-year-old was livid at reports a fortnight ago claiming he would be dropped from the NRL team for their round 16 trip to New Zealand to take on the Warriors.
When interim coach Brett Kimmorley named his line-up last Tuesday, Brooks was in the No.6 jumper. He has never been dropped from the side since debuting a decade ago.
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It had already been suggested the selection rumor was leaked to certain media outlets by unknown Tigers officials, and Brooks essentially confirmed as much.
“It’s pretty disappointing that people in the club tend to leak a fair bit,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
“Myself not being spoken to, and seeing it all in the news, was pretty frustrating.
“But it was all cleared up and in the end I was playing, so it was all a bit of a storm in a teacup.
“Noddy (Kimmorley) was good with that. He wanted to talk to me first – that was the frustrating thing, that it came out through the media.
“There was never really discussions about dropping me. It was more about my game and where I can get better.”
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Brooks has played more than 180 NRL games for the Tigers but the club has never qualified for finals since he debuted there.
He is clearly now fed up, taking the extraordinary step of calling out his own bosses for leaking to media.
His contract is netting him $ 950,000 this season alone, and is expected to increase to more than $ 1 million next season.
But Brooks, for the first time, confirmed he may walk away from Concord to join an NRL rival.
Brooks denies asking for Tigers release
He was heavily linked to Newcastle during the off-season, and in May he denied to 9News that he had twice requested a release from the Tigers so he could join the Knights.
But now he concedes he will explore his options and potentially leave the team that he spent a decade trying to resurrect.
“It’s a big decision for me, and I’ve got to have a think about what’s best for me,” he said.
“I think a lot of the time I haven’t put myself first with these decisions. When the time comes I’m going to sit down and maybe be a bit selfish and do what’s best for me.
“I’m getting towards the back end of my career, so I’ve got to make a decision where I’m going to play my best footy, and a club that looks like they’re going to be in contention.
“I have not played finals footy, and that’s what I want to do, you want to win premierships.”
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