Sea Eagles prop forward Brenton Lawrence has declared he is ready to step up into the void left by his former front row teammates as the club re-groups for the second half of pre-season training.
Lawrence, who quickly became one of the game's most elusive forwards in his breakout season last year, has put his hand up to lead the Manly pack in 2014.
“You can only do your apprenticeship for so long and then you want to be one of the blokes leading the way for the younger players coming to knock you off. I’m definitely ready to step up,” Lawrence said.
The Sea Eagles said farewell to a number of club greats last season, ultimately making way for an off-season recruitment strategy that welcomes a host of promising young forwards.
“That’s the nature of the game, the evolution of how the team dynamic works,” Lawrence said. “There will always be people who reach the end of their careers and others will need to step up.”
Lawrence admits he is a lot more settled at the Sea Eagles in contrast to when he first joined the club at the end of 2012, where he was made to prove himself to the coaching staff and his teammates.
“I’m a lot more comfortable this year. Last year I had to ease into everything and I felt like l had something to prove every time I did something. There’s a little bit of weight off my shoulders now,” Lawrence said.
“Having played with the boys last year, it’s a lot more fun seeing them again and getting excited about the season ahead.”
With a new bunch of exciting recruits eager to stamp there mark this season, Lawrence believes there is plenty to look forward to in 2014.
“All the new recruits have really impressed me, especially the forwards. You look at them and think, geez, they’re going to be good,” He said.
As for his Christmas break…
“I ate pretty much all the ham that I cooked and then my brother-in-law cooked one as well and we had a fair crack at that too. I don’t think I put on any weight but it felt like I did,” Lawrence joked.