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Field of dreams: Chris Lawrence is much better prepared for his move to the second row, after it was trialled earlier in his career.

With the Wests Tigers naming plenty of untested rookies for the Downer NRL Auckland Nines, 

Lawrence said the Nines would prove a massive chance for the likes of NYC graduates Tyler Cassel and Lamar Liolevave to show their worth, alongside new faces Rod Griffin and Michael Chee Kam. 

"There are a lot of them and they're going to be playing in front of a crowd they have probably faced before so it'll give them some really good exposure and experience," Lawrence told

"For others who are a chance to crack the first grade squad at the beginning of the year, it's a chance to show what they can do. You have seen over the past couple of years younger players who have stood up at the Nines and made their debut soon after. 

"It's definitely going to be the same with us, whether a good performance at the Nines means they start the year I'm not quite sure but I definitely know if they play well then they'll get a shot early on."

Joining the Tigers from the Sharks this season is young utility Josh Addo-Carr, another player Lawrence says is one for the future as he continues his transition to senior football.

"[Addo-Carr] is still young, still learning and perhaps a bit raw in training but he's been really improving every week," Lawrence said.

"Actually our young outside backs look really good. Obviously we still have senior guys Tim Simona and Kevin Naiqama here too, but there's other young ones coming through like Watson Heleta and Addo-Carr. 

"They are two very quick and strong guys – and the Nines format will suit them too." 

Above all though, Lawrence has been buoyed by the peace garnered at the club following a tumultuous final few months of 2015.

With team morale high, according to the veteran, Lawrence is ready to move past the club's chaotic chapter when the rugby league calendar kicks off on Saturday.

"That's the thing, everyone has been really positive and we have all been training really well," Lawrence said.

"Again though, that doesn't always translate into wins on the field so for us it's about taking on board all the positivity and the hard work we have pushed through over the pre-season and using it to kick the year off strongly.

"It's felt like pre-season has gone on for a long time so I'm definitely looking forward to just getting out there and playing some footy."

9 rookies to watch at the 2016 Downer NRL Auckland Nines

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