Luke Brooks believes an influx of new signings and coach Ivan Clearly at Wests Tigers is helping him become a better player.
Clearly replaced Jason Taylor in the hot seat mid-season last year and the Tigers have been very busy on the recruitment front.
Ten new players have been brought in, with the arrivals including Josh Reynolds, Benji Marshall, Ben Matulino, Chris McQueen, Robbie Rochow, Corey Thompson, Russell Packer, Mahe Fonua and Taane Milne.
Brooks, who made his NRL debut in 2013, is now one of the veteran players at the Sydney club despite only being 23-years-old.
“I think it’s been great having a lot of fresh faces come in here,” the halfback told the Wests Tigers website.
“It’s a bit different for me seeing a lot of new players, but I think it’s helped me. It’s made me want to train harder and try to match the energy that they’re bringing in training. For me, the new guys have helped a bit with that pressure.
“Having all these new players eases what I have to do and the focus on me. I haven’t really been talked about in the media for 12 months now and that’s the way I like it. I can just focus on my game and doing my thing for the team, which is exciting.
“The biggest change I’ve seen in myself over the years is my view on what a good game is. Once Ivan came in, he changed my view a bit — he wants me more to be worried about the way I’m directing the team and controlling the game plan that he’s set out.
“In the past, I’d be more worried about how many tries or try assists I’d get because I feel that’s what I get judged on. I guess Ivan has just really helped with that confidence to know that I’ve had a good game based on what he wants me to do for the team.”
Brooks is set to unveil a new partnership with ex-Bulldog Reynolds in the halves, while former Warrior Lolohea will feature at fullback.
The No.7 is enthused about the line-up Wests will field in 2018.
“I think Tui [Lolohea] had a great World Cup for Tonga; he looks like he’ll be playing fullback for us so it’ll be good for me and him to work on our combo,” he said.
“Josh [Reynolds] as well, he brings a lot of energy and is passionate about what he does, so it’ll be great to work with him. I think that’s what we need — I think we’ll work well together where I can run the team and set the game plan and he can play what he sees and play a bit off the cuff with Tui out the back.
"I think we’ll have a nice mix there and a bit different to years gone by.”I think the fans are going to see a team that plays exciting footy. We’ve got the players in our side that suit throwing the ball around, and I think it would stupid of us not to play the way that suits us.
"I think towards the end of last year we started playing like that a bit — throwing the ball and moving teams around — and that worked well.”