Boom Wests Tigers centre Chris Lawrence has confirmed he’s close to securing a new long-term deal with the club.
The 22-year-old, who made his NRL debut for the Tigers in 2006, admits he has received offers from rival NRL clubs but says his strong preference is to remain with the Tigers.
“Hopefully we can finalise (the deal) in the next week or two and have that done but I’ve always said I love to have the opportunity to play at the one club and hopefully I’m a bit closer to getting that opportunity,” Lawrence said.
“My manager’s been out there and I’ve had a few offers, not strong offers just a bit of interest from other clubs.”
“But I mean I’m happy here, I love the guys, love the group and I really believe in the group we’ve got here so I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else.”
“I’m happy at the Tigers and I’m happy with my development and they’ve given me opportunities so I’d love to pay them back with a bit of loyalty.”
Lawrence underlined his importance to the Tigers on Saturday night, crossing twice in his side’s narrow 20-12 victory over New Zealand Warriors.
And the importance of locking the one-Test centre long term is not lost on veteran coach Tim Sheens.
“Chris and Blake Ayshford make a pretty fair centre pairing and I think most clubs would quite happy to have them, so we’d like to make sure that we’ve got those two signed for a good period of time and I think we’re close to finalising Chrissy,” Sheens said.
“He’s a future big-time player for us and more and more he comes up with the goods every game, so I’m very, very pleased to have him in my footy team.”
Quote from Tele Articlehttp://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/nrl/wests-tigers-beat-new-zealand-warriors-20-12-in-nrl-round-two-match/story-e6frexnr-1226024678171"Tigers chief executive Stephen Humphreys refused to comment on Lawrence’s deal, but club insiders are confident it will be finalised ahead of next Saturday night’s home game at Campbelltown against Canberra."
And Here it is from the Official Website - For Thread Closure Sake.
CHRIS LAWRENCE RE-SIGNS FOR FIVE YEARS
22/03/2011 6:24:18 AM
Wests Tigers are pleased to announce that star centre Chris Lawrence has re-signed today on a five-year deal, keeping him at the Club until the end of the 2016 season.
A Campbelltown junior, Lawrence attended St Gregory’s College Campbelltown and went on to represent the Australian Schoolboys in his final year in 2006.
Handpicked to join the Wests Tigers CUBS program in 2005 - a development system designed to create a pathway for talented Wests and Balmain juniors into the professional squad - Chris has become one of many current Wests Tigers first grade players to have come from this system.
Since making his first grade debut against the Brisbane Broncos in 2006, Lawrence has played 92 NRL games and has scored 53 tries. 2011 will be Lawrence’s sixth season with the Club.
Following a successful 2010 season, the 22-year-old was rewarded with selection in the Australian Kangaroos squad for the Four Nations Tournament and scored a try on his International debut against New Zealand at Eden Park in Auckland.
Wests Tigers CEO Stephen Humphreys said that securing the long term services of Lawrence is an important milestone for the Club.
“Chris thoroughly deserves this contract and is a key component to the squad moving forward. He’s only 22 but he’s already tasted representative football and played close to 100 first grade games. He is a player of great class and character and he will only continue to develop and improve his game” Humphreys said.
Lawrence said he was really pleased to secure his future at the Club.
“I’m a Campbelltown junior and have come through the Club’s development program so it’s perfect for me that I’ll be here for this length of time. We have such a talented squad here at the moment so it’s exciting to be a part of that,” he said.
Lawrence is already a member of the team’s leadership group. Off the field, he runs a successful business, LPW Health and Fitness, which provides a range of health and fitness services for all ages.
STAY TUNED LATER TODAY FOR AN EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW ON WTV WITH CHRIS LAWRENCE