Lawrence tackling one of his hardest roles in years
Author
Alicia Newton
NRL.com Reporter
Timestamp
Thu 9 Apr 2020, 10:20 AM
Alicia Newton
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He’s in self-isolation, runs his own business and is an RLPA delegate responsible for relaying messages to teammates while speaking to the union on behalf of the Wests Tigers.

It’s safe to say veteran Chris Lawrence had a far more settled life when he extended his stay at the joint venture for another 12 months last October.

“Robbie Farah has been joking around saying he made the right call to retire when he did after tossing up whether to go around again last year,” Lawrence laughed.

“One thing I learnt from last year is how quickly things can change, not just in 12 months but you now look week-to-week.”

Lawrence may not have seen his off-field role coming when he re-signed with the Tigers but he is now tasked with one of the more important jobs of his career in guiding players on the current messages being delivered between the RLPA and NRL.
I want to make sure I represent the players from our club most importantly with their thoughts and feelings about matters," Lawrence said.

Can your favourite players sing?Can your favourite players sing?
Can your favourite players sing?Can your favourite players sing?
"Given I’ve been around for 14-15 seasons I feel like I have a responsibility to make sure the playing group is looked after as much as possible and realistically try to reduce the blow for clubs.

"I couldn’t have told you players who were involved back when I played. It’s probably only been over the last 5-6 years that the players’ association has come together and grown in strengths.

“Players have an involvement and are passionate about the collective voice which is good to see.”

Amid the circus that has been in the opening month of the competition, Lawrence admits the possibility the 2020 season could be the final of his career had crossed his mind well before the coronavirus pandemic took over proceedings.

However, the sudden suspension of the competition had changed his frame of mind.

“It’s the furthest thing from my mind now but then it does make me think whether I could go on next year if I don’t get to play again this year,” Lawrence said.

"That’s something I’ll deal with. There’s no point dwelling over things that are realistically out of my control.

“But, my body will definitely be fresh. It does seem so far down the track at the moment though.”

As players wait on further news regarding an official return date resumption of the competition, Lawrence indicated the Tigers were committed to whatever decisions were made.

Lawrence and his wife Kathryn have a young daughter Emmerson and the veteran forward said players with families would find it harder to play the game in isolation for a longer period of time if that was the avenue the NRL and RLPA took.

“If that was the route we go down there would have to be measures in place for young families,” Lawrence said.You need a buy-in, and it’s a very difficult call. There are guys out there who have kids on the way as well which is even more difficult.

"In saying that all players want to be doing what they love and if we’re not playing footy then there’s no money coming in.

“I’m sure before any of talk of moving away came to fruition the NRL and RLPA will look at what the best outcome is to ensure the product is back on the field but then the players are supported and have an opportunity to have access to their families in some capacity.”

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