Wests Tigers Life Members Benji Marshall and Chris Lawrence will each bring up their 250th game for the club this Saturday against the Newcastle Knights at McDonald Jones Stadium.
Having first played together in 2006, Marshall and Lawrence have been icons of Wests Tigers despite different career paths, and become just the second and third player to reach the 250-game milestone in Wests Tigers colours.
Fellow Life Member Robbie Farah (277 games) holds the record for most games in Wests Tigers colours.
The milestone is an incredible achievement for the 31-year-old Lawrence, who has battled a raft of injuries in the past few seasons to reach this moment.
After missing the first half of last season due to a serious facial injury that required extensive surgery and rehabilitation, Lawrence has played 22 of a possible 24 matches and will come off the bench in Saturday's clash against the Knights.
A local junior of Wests Tigers, Lawrence remains the youngest player to have debuted for the club at just 17 years and 283 days — starring in an upset win over the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium back in 2006.
The fleet-footed outside back would quickly establish himself as one of the finest youngsters in the game — earning representative honours with the Prime Minister’s XIII tour of Papua New Guinea in 2007 before also being selected in the train-on squads for City Origin and the New South Wales Blues in the coming years.
A potent try-scorer, Lawrence would make his international debut for Australia at the 2010 Four Nations, scoring on debut against New Zealand. He would remain with the international set-up in 2011 as well, with six appearances for the green and gold.
Pushing through several injuries and making a full-time move to the back row, Lawrence captained Wests Tigers for the first time in 2014 alongside Aaron Woods with Robbie Farah away on representative duties. He would soon return to the representative arena himself in 2016, captaining City Origin to victory.
In 2017, Lawrence became just the fourth player to play 200 NRL games for Wests Tigers — helping the side to an upset win over the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville. He would cap off a superb season by being inducted as a Life Member of the club alongside 2005 Premiership Winner Dene Halatau, at the time becoming just the sixth Life Member in club history.
For Marshall, who celebrated his 300th NRL game last year in Round 17, the milestone is also a special mark given his Wests Tigers journey.
The Keebra Park graduate first made his mark in club colours in an eye-catching debut back in 2003, and would quickly consolidate his place not only in Tim Sheens' side but Wests Tigers folklore with a starring role in his side's 2005 Premiership win.
Marshall would also make his international debut for New Zealand that year in the ANZAC Test, while also featuring in the end-of-season Tri Nations.
Switching between halfback and five-eighth, Marshall’s game would reach new heights over the next few years. He was named as captain of New Zealand in 2009, before being named as the Five-Eighth of the Year by the Rugby League International Federation. In 2010, Marshall won the Golden Boot Award for the best rugby league player in the world and remains the only Wests Tigers player to have ever won this award to this day.
Having played 249 of his 316 career games in Wests Tigers colours, Marshall holds numerous records for the clubs including most career tries, goals and points.
He will start at halfback and captain the side on Saturday alongside Moses Mbye.
Match: Knights v Wests Tigers
Round 13 -
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
|Player||Benji Marshall||Chris Lawrence|
|Junior Club||Keebra Park High School||Eagle Vale St. Andrews|
Wests Tigers v Newcastle Knights
Campbelltown Sports Stadium, Rd.20 (27/07/03)
Brisbane Broncos v Wests Tigers
Suncorp Stadium, Rd.21 (30/07/06)
St. George-Illawarra (2014-16)
28 Tests for New Zealand (2005-12,19)
4 games for NRL All Stars (2010-13)
6 Tests for Australia (2010-11)
3 games for NSW City Origin (2010,12,16)
3 games for PM's XIII (2007,08,12)
|WT Life Member||Inducted in 2013||Inducted in 2017|