UNSETTLED: West Tigers veteran Chris Lawrence says the club is suffering under the current dramas.
UNSETTLED: West Tigers veteran Chris Lawrence says the club is suffering under the current dramas. DAVE HUNT

Lawrence stunned by Tigers' dramas

RUGBY LEAGUE: Wests Tigers veteran Chris Lawrence has seen three coaches axed by the club in six years and Robbie Farah dumped last year, but the veteran says he can't recall a more tumultuous time at the NRL club.

The Tigers are ready to appoint Ivan Cleary as their latest coach after the swift axing of Jason Taylor last week.

Added to that was the explosive betting and drugs scandal surrounding Tim Simona a fortnight ago.

Lawrence, the team's longest-serving player, says the latest dramas are the worst since his debut in 2006.

"It's been a tough few weeks. Tough and disappointing," he said.

"For us players, it is hard. And it doesn't help the fact we've had a couple of poor losses.

"We need to just put our heads down and get a win. That's the least we can do to try and give our fans a bit of joy after a tough few weeks and try and get our season back on track."

Lawrence, the Tigers' fourth-most capped player behind Farah, Chris Heighington and Benji Marshall, said the club's decision to axe Taylor was the most difficult to deal with because of the timing, coming just four weeks into the new season.

"In previous times it's been at the end of the year where you've had a chance to debrief, look forward to the new coach and work with them through the pre-season," he said.

"This is obviously a bit different, being the middle of the year and still having to focus on the week ahead."

Lawrence said Cleary had a good reputation with players.

"He's had plenty of success at the clubs he's been at. I don't know him personally and never met him but you hear good things about him," Lawrence said.

The Tigers are at the bottom of the ladder after three successive losses and face St George Illawarra on Sunday without regular halfback Luke Brooks due to a hamstring strain.

"It doesn't matter who the coach is, if we don't fix up some of the errors and things we're doing wrong on the field, we're not going to get a win," Lawrence said.

News Corp Australia


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