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Wests Tigers second-rower Chris Lawrence.

Tigers settled without off-field dramas

Chris Lawrence is keen to lead the Wests Tigers in 2018 but has warned his teammates their success will be determined by a bunch of senior players "rather than one captain always barking orders".

With former skipper Aaron Woods departing for Canterbury, the 29-year-old second-rower is set to battle it out for the role with well-respected teammate Elijah Taylor.

A former Australian international, Lawrence has played 208 games for the joint venture but struggled in 2017 with a pectoral injury.

A decision is set to be made by coach Ivan Cleary closer to the season.

"I've made no secret I'd love to be captain and it would be a great honour if I got the chance," Lawrence said at an NRL junior clinic at Campbelltown on Thursday.

"[But] I think for this group because we've got a lot of senior guys that whoever is the captain it's not going to be one person leading the group. There will be a bunch of senior guys in the squad that will drive what we're trying to do.

"A lot of things we want to achieve this year will be down to those guys rather than one captain always barking orders.

"We've got a lot who are leaders on and off the field."

Realistically if it's not to make the finals then you shouldn't be playing footy.

Chris Lawrence

Lawrence said it was early days leading into the trials to be talking about goals and combinations.

The Wests Tigers are set to field potentially six new recruits in the early rounds of the season with a new-look spine featuring former Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs five-eighth Josh Reynolds.

Wests Tigers veteran Chris Lawrence.
Wests Tigers veteran Chris Lawrence. ©Wests Tigers

"We haven't spoken in terms of goals or what we want to achieve yet," Lawrence said.

"It's going to take a few weeks before that starting 17 gels. The earlier rounds in the competition doesn't matter in that you can be clunky in attack and everything you do but still win games.

"We won't be making excuses [of] 'it's a new spine' or new players. There are plenty of other areas we can win a game of footy.

"Realistically if it's not to make the finals then you shouldn't be playing footy."

The Eaglevale junior welcomed the new additions to the squad following a drama-filled 18 months and said the side was forming a noticeable bond in the new year under Cleary.

"It's certainly the biggest change since I've been here," Lawrence said.

"It was always going to be different but everyone seems to have fitted in really well – a lot of senior guys coming in trying to drive what we want to achieve. Everyone has come here with an intention to work hard and prove a point.

"It's been a really good feel."

Acknowledgement of Country

Wests Tigers respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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