HE learned the importance of a Western Rams jumper in a different fashion to most players, but come Wednesday night's clash against France Blake Lawson will still bring plenty of passion to the green and white.
The Bathurst Panthers centre only seriously started playing rugby league in his mid-teens and it was back then while giving lip to one of the club's more senior talents - winger Nathan Rollinson - that he was handed a lesson in respect.
"I remember being at high school and I was probably not being a very good kid and we were being smart-arses about something to Nathan Rollinson. I remember him saying something back to me along the lines of talk to me when you've played first grade Rams," Lawson revealed.
"That has stuck with me, how important that sort of stuff is. Playing for the Rams is right up there."
Just as noted try-scorer and Group 10 premiership winner Rollinson knew the prestige of playing for the Rams back then, it is now something Lawson has experienced firsthand too.
His experience in the green and white includes playing against the Federation of Italian Rugby League Australia at Carrington Park, while he also lined up for the Rams in last Saturday's 18-6 win over Riverina.
Though having been one of Panthers' most consistent players this year as they defended their Group 10 premier league crown - he crossed for 13 tries in 19 games - Lawson was still surprised to make the Rams' squad for the clash with France at Parkes.
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"It's not something I really expected, but it should be a good game. It's good to be able to test yourself against an international team, I know they will probably be missing a few people, but it's always good to throw on the white and green jumper," he said.
"I'm one of those tragics who is a bit upset there is not senior representative football that goes around anymore, it's bit disappointing it's gone down to 23s and left us in limbo pretty much. So to get this chance is really good, it's a great concept.
"It's good to test yourself and it's also good to get to play with a few boys from Group 11."
Lawson felt the Rams' win over a physical Riverina outfit was a good warm-up for the French clash. They had just one training session prior to that match and took some time to find their cohesion, but once the combinations clicked they produced some clinical football.
"Defensively we were pretty strong against Riverina. They probably the had the ball for a large majority and had a lot better ball and you could tell we were a team who hadn't played together a lot," Lawson said.
"But once we built into the game it got a bit smoother and a bit cleaner."
From that that victorious squad former NRL players Justin Carney and Josh Starling have been added to the Rams' ranks. It gives Lawson hope that can surprise the French.
"When they first named that French squad there were 10 or so who had played in the Super League comps, obviously they have a few other players that aren't quite at that level, but you still are going to get the chance to test yourself," he said.
"I think it will be a closer contest than some people think, we'll see how we go."