West Tigers coach Tim Sheens is the man Luke Brooks is leading the side around in 2023, with the star receiving “dishonest” treatment from critics.
Rivers is expected to be the first Tiger to miss as he recovers from a calf complaint, but Sheens is not worried about the star half’s fitness heading into season 11 of the NRL.
He and Mitchell (Moses) and Tedesco have been signed as our future backs on the day going back and forth. I just think the three boy actors were pretty good,” Sheens said.
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“But if you win the Dally M three or four years ago, and you’ve still got the legs, then you can still play.
“Some criticism” [of Brooks] it is shameful. It is especially important for bullying.
“But he keeps it together, he stays with us, he expects to play and I expect coaching because I never coached him.”
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Sheens shrugged off Brooks’ criticism, handing him a hefty $1.1 million for his 2023 season.
“I don’t care what the critics say,” Sheens said, when asked if there will be critics on Brooks until the Tigers make the finals.
“This is a business, to be critical. You can win or lose the game by scoring a test, and he will say that he is the best in the team, which is how funny things are. As far as I am concerned, nothing pressures him.
“Just play good in the team, like anybody. Do your job as we asked, take your chances, maybe a little more eager Brooksy.
“He could run a little more. But this he says, he exercises well.’
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Streams will return to full training next week, Sheens confirmed, as he recovers from a calf injury.
“Cerum has stopped dancing for a moment, but he looks at everything, he is fit. Only this leg is sorted and it starts next week,” he said.
“I don’t think we’ll have this one in the first test, I don’t think we’ll have a lot of first guys for the first test.
“Right at the moment, though, next week’s sessions start to be full. The training is hard, it’s not that it’s not, but running and jumping in this state is controlled by the staff.”
Earlier this week, Brooks opened up under constant pressure in front of the Tigers as a key scorer.
“I guess that’s part of it,” Brooks said foxsports.com.au this week
“When you’re doing well, all the raps go on like this.
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“I’m just used to it, but as long as my teammates and staff are happy with me, then that’s all.
“I try to stay away from it (the negative) … Sometimes, although it is difficult, because it is everywhere and people ask you about it, but as much as I can, I try not to read into it.
“I learned that a long time ago.”
The Tigers will meet the Warriors in Auckland on February 9 for the first test meeting of the pre-season.