Wests Tigers veteran Chris Lawrence will enter negotiations about a new deal in the coming weeks but wouldn’t rule out the prospect of playing against the club he’s given 14 years of service to if he had to continue his NRL career elsewhere.
Lawrence has strung together two months of football since a freak facial injury suffered during a training session in March left the 30-year-old almost unrecognisable and his NRL career in doubt.
While all the talk of late has centred around the futures of Benji Marshall and Robbie Farah at Concord, Lawrence is the third most-capped player at the club behind the pair on 235 NRL appearances and remains off contract at season’s end.
“I have to have a conversation with the club over the next few weeks,” Lawrence said on Wednesday.
“My focus has been about getting back from my injury and now that I’m doing that and in the week-to-week cycle it’s time to start having that conversation in due course.”
Lawrence naturally wants to remain at the joint venture and has ruled out any thoughts of moving to the English Super League even if he can’t attract any offers from rival Australian clubs.
He said playing at another NRL club is something he would consider.
The emergence of Ryan Matterson and Michael Chee Kam in 2019 has added further competition in the back row, while Luke Garner has shown his ability in limited opportunities this season.
“Obviously that will be the ideal situation [to stay], I don’t want to go anywhere,” Lawrence said.
"I’ve got a young family and if I’ve still got that desire to keep playing. If the opportunity is to not stay here, then I may have to look elsewhere and unfortunately that’s footy and we’ll cross that bridge if it comes.
"You don’t look too far ahead at this stage in my career but in saying that you have to look at all options.
“It’s not just about yourself but about family and they have to have an eye on post-footy when that time comes.”
Lawrence continues to achieve success with his off-field business One Wellbeing and indicated his future would also centre around the growth of his director role.
“For my family it might be a good opportunity [to travel overseas] but I’ve got a business here I’ve been working hard and growing,” Lawrence said.
“It’s more selfish of me to extend my career a year or two and possibly jeopardise the next 10 years of my career in business. They’re the type of things I’ll have to weigh up.”