Lawrence re-signs with eye on the future
After signing a new three-year deal with the Wests Tigers Chris Lawrence is keen to play a role in the development of the club's batch of talented youngsters.
The fourth-oldest at the Tigers at just 27, Lawrence is hopeful his new deal will allow him to oversee the progress of his younger teammates and a return to the success he was accustomed to earlier in his career.
"It was definitely a priority of mine to stay here at the club and I'm very excited. There's obviously been some tough times over the past couple of years for the club but I want to be here when the club builds itself back up," Lawrence said.
"I've been here my whole career and I really wanted to remain here and be a mentor for the younger guys. I want to be here when they do start to grow up and flourish.
"Everyone talks about the young talent we have here so I want to use my experience and take some responsibility in helping those guys come through."
Coach Jason Taylor said the re-signing of Lawrence was a boost to the club.
"It's really good. I'm really excited and very happy for Chris. He's a high quality player and a great leader for us. He leads enormously by example every day with the way he turns up and prepares himself for a game," Taylor said.
"Chris sets a great example for the young players we have coming through. It's why we're really happy to have him for the next three years."
Lawrence's career at the Tigers was unquestionably on the brink midway through last year with his spot in the centres becoming somewhat of a concern to Taylor.
But since moving to the back row permanently this season, Lawrence has found a new lease on life and proved a massive factor into his re-signing.
"He was in the centres obviously when I arrived and things weren't going as well as we would've liked and he would've liked. Then we made that move and it's been a real positive," Taylor said.
"He's enjoyed it and he's tough. He's a tough player. That's the biggest thing about his move. He gets knocked around but recovers really well every week to get himself right to do it all again the following week.
"Stuff like that is obviously the kind of culture we want to build here."
Lawrence said his positional shift has been one that has re-energised his career.
"It makes me motivated again because it's been a different challenge," he said. "Moving to the forwards has given me the opportunity to continually try and grow my game and improve every week."