Robbie Farah might be back for Wests Tigers, but Luke Brooks and Mitchell Moses are ready to show this isn’t his team anymore.
Farah is set to return from pre-season injury to play his first NRL game since stepping down from the captaincy late last year when the club meets Parramatta in their annual Easter Monday NRL blockbuster.
But this is a vastly different team to the one that he last played in.
Not only is the hooker no longer the skipper – with Aaron Woods in that job – but young halves Moses and Brooks have ascended the throne as top dog organisers for coach Jason Taylor with impressive attacking displays.
“As a half, I want to be the dominant one. Mitch as well wants to be dominant,” Brooks said on Tuesday.
“Robbie’s told us before that it’s our team, so we’ve got to take charge. And if we don’t, that’s when he’ll take over. We’ve got to be dominant ourselves and he’ll let us do our thing.”
It’s a takeover that Brooks has been eyeing all summer.
“Obviously it’s week by week, (but) this year we’ve really tried to make it more our team,” he said.
“That’s something I’ve personally been working on, being more dominant.”
Farah’s decision to relinquish the captaincy came amid a dramatic six months at Concord, when he was told he could leave, dug his heels in to stay, then requested a release.
The 32-year-old eventually stayed put, and will now play his first game of the season after recovering from a knee injury he picked up in the trials.
Vice-captain Dene Halatau said Farah knows exactly where he now stands in the team’s hierarchy.
“Robbie understands that those boys are really developing and controlling halfbacks and they want to be right in the thick of things and have a big say on how the team’s going,” he said.
“I know Robbie is keen to get amongst that and be a part of their development and help them continue.”
The Tigers surprised many by winning their first two games in scintillating fashion, and were well on their way to regaining their tag as the NRL entertainers.
But they were brought back to earth by Gold Coast last week, and skipper Aaron Woods said his predecessor would provide the necessary substance to their free-wheeling ways.
“With Mitchell and Luke, sometimes they want to play some footy and Robbie will die it down a bit and just get back to completing the sets,” he said.
“Robbie’s just got to be that calm head that’s going to come back in and when we get a bit too erratic at times, he’ll be the one to bring us back down, obviously being one of the main playmakers in the team.”