Tigers halves Mitchell Moses and Luke Brooks believe club is building towards something special

THEY’RE Tiger cubs no more.

Wests Tigers five-eighth Mitchell Moses has declared age will not be an excuse for poor performances as he and halves partner Luke Brooks prepare to lead their side into the 2017 season.

The playmaking pair are both just 22, with Moses about to start his fourth NRL season, and Brooks his fifth.

It’s taken a couple of years, but they’ve started to find their feet in first grade.

“I think I took a bit of a leadership role on and kind of took it upon myself,” Moses said of his good form in the back half of last season. “But it wasn’t just me, the other players around me were doing that too.

“Me and Luke will try and take control of the team at the moment, we’re all young players but we’ve played together enough in first grade now so there’s no excuse to say that we’re too young.”

Moses and Brooks believe the Tigers are “building towards something special”, but whether or not they’ll both be at the club beyond 2017 remains to be seen.

They’re off contract and noncommittal over their future.

“I love playing with Teddy, Brooksy and that, but I’ve left that up to my management,” Moses said.

“I’m just focused on training and starting the season well for the Tigers. We’ll see what happens.”

The duo were among a group of 40 young players at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday for a NSW specialist pathways program designed by former Blues greats Brad Fittler, Andrew Johns, Danny Buderus, Anthony Minichiello and Mark O’Meley.

The group, made up of players aged from 14 to 22, were split up for position-specific sessions with the mentors.

“It’s good to meet some new young boys that are obviously good players and that guys like ‘Freddy’ think are the ones to lead NSW in the future,” Brooks said.

“I’m one of the older boys here which is a bit different for me.”

Brooks said he was hoping to share some of his experiences with the younger players about being a fulltime rugby league player.

“There are little tips about coming into first grade,” he said. “Because they’re at that age where they’re just starting to break through and experience footy as a career.

“So just helping out with little tips on training and stuff off-field.”

Moses believed the initiative would benefit him as he strives to reach his goal of Origin football.

“I grew up watching those players and looked up to them, especially Freddy and Joey,” Moses said. “To be coached by them is exciting.

“It’s always good to be noticed and doing these kinds of things and it’s a pathway for the players that they think can lead NSW into the future.

“I’d love to play (Origin) next year, that’s definitely my goal in what I want to do and the next rep side I want to make.

“It’s up to the coaches really. If I keep playing the kind of footy I was playing last season, I’ll just leave it up to the selectors.”


Brad Fittler wants Mitchell Moses, Luke Brooks and Nathan Cleary in frame for State of Origin

If you’re old enough, you’re good enough. At least in Brad Fittler’s mind. And he wants the halfback who emerged from the same school as he did, as well as a pair of Wests Tigers young guns, to become potential solutions to NSW’s never-ending playmaking dilemma.

While stopping short of urging Blues coach Laurie Daley to consider parting with incumbent halves James Maloney and Adam Reynolds for next year’s State of Origin series, Fittler’s ground-up approach is demanding Nathan Cleary, who hails from St Dominic’s College, as well as Mitchell Moses and Luke Brooks sneak into the picture.

“That’s not my job [to pick the halves], but we need pressure underneath,” Fittler said. "If all our halves are playing good that’s going to put pressure on the players who were there last time and the incumbents. The key is to make all our players good from [underneath] and that just picks the quality up.

"[Queensland’s] halves have basically been the best players in the game for a long time now. You don’t have to be Einstein to realise that. The basis of their team have been our best players.

“We need to put pressure on ourselves on and off the field to be the best players in the NRL competition, therefore that will then show in State of Origin on the bigger stage under pressure.”

Fittler and Andrew Johns have joined Danny Buderus, Anthony Minichiello and Mark O’Meley in an official position-specific mentoring program for some of the state’s most promising players.

Moses and Brooks joined Parramatta speedster Bevan French and 40 of NSW’s best prospects at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday. Cleary was pencilled in to join the Tigers tyros, but only returned from a Panthers pre-season camp on the same day.

“When you mention Nathan Cleary … he’s the one that looks like he handles pressure better than anyone,” Fittler said.

"The thing with State of Origin is it’s intense. You’ve also got to look at your life off the field when you want to start dealing with pressure of that sort of magnitude. He’s a great example of someone showing signs they should play Origin.

“Everyone here at the moment we see [as] showing the habits of someone we want to play State of Origin – or will be in the future at some stage.”


Theres no doubt that NSW have some talented youngsters in the wings.
Once they fully emerge, cue Phil Gould to swoop in and steal the glory.

Moses,I have confidence in him being superb this year,Brooks really needs to have a standout year before I can be confident in him…he may have taken more time to understand NRL before Mitch has…

Absolutely no revelations here, but good to see the young blokes being earmarked for rep duties. If nothing else, it broadens their horizons - a form of encouragement but also they get to speak to different mentors, learn off other players. It all helps.

Maybe training with some 14 year olds will give Brooksy a bit more confidence.

Brooks has no hope of getting in front of Cleary , Cleary has the complete game and can kick goals .

Think Moses grew in confidence this year and took it upon himself to be the leader and dictate terms
( play making decisions ) will only get better in the future with a good forward pack around him , can see him partnering Cleary in the halves at Origin level within 3 years .

As for Brooks ? well his nothing more of an average 1st Grader at best with consistency being his biggest Achilles…needs a break out year for his sake and confidence , lets hope he delivers cause that would mean we are travelling well on the Ladder.

In the pictures I saw there was another WT’s player there

I’m pretty sure it was Paseka

Can anyone confirm that ??

Brooks is almost in Siro territory. He’s had long enough, now its put up or shut up.

Something special has been building at Wests Tigers since the 2006 pre-season.

Each year we get a pre-season article about the club being on the verge of greatness. Of the next star on the block … just wish that it actually eventuates for once.

@happy tiger:

In the pictures I saw there was another WT’s player there

I’m pretty sure it was Paseka

Can anyone confirm that ??

I saw liddle and junior junior siro.


Theres no doubt that NSW have some talented youngsters in the wings.
Once they fully emerge, cue Phil Gould to swoop in and steal the glory.

Oh you mean like what the bushy-eyed git did with the 'toads?
Basically, anyone apart from Laurie Daley will be “swooping in to take the glory”. Maybe even our own JT if WT finally live up to the hype/potential and start to have success.

Reminded me of the Kids to kangaroos thingos my bloke did at about 8 or 9

@Balmain Boy:

Maybe training with some 14 year olds will give Brooksy a bit more confidence.

Mean, but I laughed.

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