Over 10 years since his first-grade debut as a 17-year-old in 2006, Chris Lawrence led from the front in another strong season for Wests Tigers that saw him miss just two games all year and also captain the side on a number of occasions.

Originally named in the NRL All Stars squad at the start of the year, before withdrawing with a back injury, Lawrence quickly began to assert his dominance in the second row for Wests Tigers — scoring three tries in the first half of the season and continuing to provide great attacking foil outside Luke Brooks for the Club’s left edge attack.

Co-captaining the team alongside Dene Halatau with Aaron Woods unavailable due to injury and State of Origin commitments during the season, the 27-year-old showed tremendous leadership on and off the field — recognised at a representative level for the first time during the year when he captained the City Origin team to a 44-30 victory.

Lawrence returned from City Origin and continued to turn in dominant displays for Wests Tigers, highlighted by his tireless work-rate and commitment in defence.

As a result, the Eagle Vale St. Andrews junior was rewarded with a contract extension during the year — securing him at the Club until at least the end of the 2019 season.

He was also inducted as a Life Member at the Club’s end-of-season Presentation Night.

Entering season 2017 on 195 first-grade matches (4th all time), Lawrence requires just three more tries to become the Club’s all-time top try-scorer (currently on 74 tries).

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2016 Year in Numbers

Games

Tries

Metres

Runs

Linebreaks

Tackles

22

3

2165m

237

6

586



 

Top Try — Round 5 vs. Cronulla Sharks

Cutting back against the grain off an inside ball from Brooks, Lawrence showed great pace and power close to the line to burst through a broken Sharks’ defensive line, before wrestling away from Ben Barba to plant the ball down for his first try of the season, and his first try at Campbelltown Sports Stadium since Round 19, 2012 (v Penrith Panthers).

 

Best Game — Round 12 vs. Brisbane Broncos

Days after announcing his new deal, Chris Lawrence captained a young side against the then premiership-favourite Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium — starring in his side’s thrilling 19-18 upset win. Playing 80 minutes on the edge, Lawrence recorded a season-high 138 metres off 14 runs, while also adding 30 tackles into the mix as well.

 

Magic Moment — Round 22 vs. North Queensland Cowboys

In an afternoon filled with magic moments, few will match the mass celebrations that followed Lawrence’s game-changing hit on Cowboys halfback Jonathan Thurston.

With the Cowboys’ attacking Wests Tigers’ line (who were holding a narrow lead at the time), Lawrence raced up and produced a brilliant one-on-one tackle on Thurston — jolting the ball free and giving his team a reprieve in defence. Teammates ran in from right across the field to congratulate Lawrence as Leichhardt Oval roared in approval, before Wests Tigers went on to record a thrilling 26-14 upset win over the defending premiers.

 

Milestones and Achievements

Wests Tigers Vice-Captain

Wests Tigers Auckland Nines captain

Wests Tigers beyondblue Ambassador

City Origin Captain

Life Member Inductee