This week we catch up with Jarred Lawrence who played First Grade for the Raiders between 2001-2004.
Canberra Raider #227
What do you do for work now?
My wife and I own a wipes company. When I say wipes I mean gym wipes, office wipes and so on. We sort of fell into that we owned a couple of Anytime Fitness franchises when we moved to Queensland about ten years ago. We ended up making our own gym wipes company which we manufacture all our products out of China and now supply the majority of the big fitness chains around Australia now, so it's quite exciting.
When we had our Anytime Fitness clubs we were purchasing gym wipes and the prices were quite inflated and I just jumped on the internet and tried to search for a better product for a better price and one thing led to another and I became a distributor of a product from the States for a couple of years and then we decided to do our own.
Now that we're doing our office wipes we've got a number of government departments out of Canberra now so a few street names pop up on our online orders that I recognise.
What's your favourite memory as a Raider?
It'd have to be my First Grade debut. I didn't play a lot of First Grade, I hung around Reserve Grade for a number of years so my debut against Newcastle was great and then the Reserve Grade Grand Final in 2003 where we beat Penrith was a highlight.
Abbey reflects on debut
What did it mean to you, to where the Raiders jersey?
I grew up following the Raiders and Mal Meninga, Laurie Daley were the guys I looked up to.
I grew up in New Zealand and the first ever Rugby League jersey I put on was a Raiders jumper. Back then not many sports stores sold them, you had to get the Rugby League Week and fill out a piece of paper and Mum and Dad would give you their credit card and then four weeks later the jumper turned up in the mail. Mine had the number three on it.
So it was pretty good for me to put the jersey on having grown up following the Raiders.
Who was your favourite teammate?
Probably Mark Bryant, Boxy. He brought a good culture to the team and he was a good guy to be around. He a funny guy, him and Troy Thompson but I probably spent more time playing with Boxy.
Do you keep in touch with any of your former teammates?
Yeah, I do. Boxy, Phil Graham, Marshall Chalk, Jace Van Dijk, Darren Porter, there's quite a few, Ben Cross, those guys. Adam Mogg, he lives not far from me so I see a bit of him.
What was your funniest moment as a Raider?
Probably the bus breaking down on the way back from a Sydney game in Sutton Forrest. We just broke down for a few hours on the side of the road and there were no lights so we just sat on the side of the road and told a few stories. That was probably one of the funniest things to happen.
Do you have any advice for younger players?
The old cliché "never give up". I was never the most talented player around but I was one of those kids that never gave up and strived to get that First Grade opportunity.