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Lawrence not writing off move to No.6

David Beniuk 30/07/2011 12:51:18 PM Comments (0)

Wests Tigers centre Chris Lawrence isn't writing off a move to five-eighth amidst speculation Benji Marshall could be turned into a fullback for the 2012 NRL season.

The Tigers' decisions to offload custodians Wade McKinnon and Tim Moltzen at year's end and sign Parramatta centre Joel Reddy have sparked talk of a reshuffle in the backline.

Golden Boot winner Marshall has been mentioned as a candidate to wear the No.1 jersey, a move that would allow him the freedom to unleash his freakish attacking plays anywhere on the field while also lessen his defensive workload.

Youngster Curtis Sironen has been touted as a possible five-eighth, but Lawrence has replaced Marshall in the No.6 jersey before, with Tigers coaching staff previously likening the Test centre to former champion Laurie Daley.

Reddy has said he could play fullback, wing or second row but a shift by Lawrence to pivot would allow the Parramatta centre to play his best position and partner in-form Blake Ayshford.

"I'd have to think about it, have to have a good chat with Sheensy (coach Tim Sheens) about what his plans are," Lawrence told AAP after the Tigers' comeback 14-12 win over Manly at Bluetongue Stadium.

"At the moment, I'm just worried about this year and I'm happy to be back (from injury) and worried about playing centre the best of my ability rather than trying to worry about playing five-eighth in the future.

"I just want to get back to playing my best footy for the rest of the year and hopefully have another crack at the premiership."

On the evidence of Friday night's win, Marshall and Lawrence may end up staying exactly where they are after combining brilliantly for the match-winning try.

Marshall's no-look pass to the flying centre showed what the inconsistent Tigers missed during Lawrence's three months on the sidelines with a horrendous hip injury.

"It's good to be back on that left edge with Benji and Gareth (Ellis), it's been a while and we're still a bit rusty. There's still a few things we need to work on," Lawrence said.

"We're slowly getting it together and we're showing signs that we're starting to look dangerous again and starting to feel pretty confident there in defence as well."

Lawrence had hearts thumping when he got up gingerly in the 68th minute, but confirmed he had only suffered a cork.

He said the hip dislocation suffered in round three was no longer on his mind.

"My body in general was pretty sore the first two weeks and I was sore around that hip area but I was sore around the other hip as well from not playing in three months," he said.

"Last week and this week the body's felt pretty good.

"I was a bit anxious in the first game obviously ... once I got the first run, the first tackle I was fine so nothing like that's still in my mind."

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