Lawrence hopes for Wests Tigers stability

Former Test centre Chris Lawrence is convinced his future is in the back row as he hopes his Wests Tigers side can finally find stability after some turbulent recent NRL campaigns.

The Tigers haven’t made the finals since 2011 and have finished 15th 13th and 15th in the last three seasons.

Mick Potter the coach in 2013-14 was replaced by Jason Taylor, but the club won two less games in 2015 than it did the previous year.

Off-field issues including speculation over the future of club icon Robbie Farah added further tumult to their disappointing on-field performance this year.

The club continues to pin their hopes on a cluster of young players including halves Luke Brooks and Mitchell Moses.

While captain and hooker Farah and Lawrence both opted to stay after being given the option of moving elsewhere, the club has a distinctly youthful look after losing several proven players in winger Pat Richards, fullback Tim Moltzen and forwards Martin Taupau and Keith Galloway.

“It’s been a disappointing couple of seasons,” Lawrence told AAP.

“We’ve had a lot of changes, a lot of player and staff turnover, which is unfortunate.

“You never like to see that because when that happens you know there’s not a lot of stability within the group.

“Hopefully we can start to build that stability within the group and we showed the potential we have with our young group within the last year or two.

“We showed what we can do when we are firing, but unfortunately we’re not consistent enough to be a competitive semi-final team.

“For us that’s our goal, to be able to reproduce what we know we can do on a more consistent basis and give ourselves a chance of playing finals footy.”

Lawrence, who played six Tests in 2010-11 in the centres and most of his club career there, was switched to the second row for his last ten matches in 2015.

“Being in the back row gets myself into the game more, both in attack and defence,” Lawrence said.

“It allows me to take on a lot more responsibility and shoulder a bit more of the workload, which I enjoy.

“Taking that leadership role is something that really challenges me, pushes me, so I think definitely with this (younger) group back row is my position.”

Lawrence is about embark on his 11th senior season with the Tigers and could rise to as high as fourth on the club’s all-time games list this year.

But after declining the opportunity to leave, Lawrence recognises there’s no guarantee he will remain a one-club player.

“I’ll be there next year and I’ve definitely got a few more years left in my career and whether that ends up at the Tigers or another club, I’m not quite sure,” Lawrence said.

“Obviously I’d love to say I’d be a Tiger all my life, but as everyone knows these days that doesn’t always happen, you don’t always get what you want.”

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